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In Alabama Senate Race, Democratic Tech Experts Experimented With Russian Tactics08:56
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Democratic candidate Doug Jones greets supporters after casting his ballot Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Mountain Brook , Ala. (John Bazemore/AP)
Democratic candidate Doug Jones greets supporters after casting his ballot Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Mountain Brook , Ala. (John Bazemore/AP)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

A secret project carried out by Democratic operatives on Facebook and Twitter during the contentious Alabama Senate race last year used similar strategy as the Russia influence campaign.

Guest

Scott Shane, national security reporter for The New York Times. (@ScottShaneNYT)

From The Reading List

New York Times: "Secret Experiment in Alabama Senate Race Imitated Russian Tactics" — "As Russia’s online election machinations came to light last year, a group of Democratic tech experts decided to try out similarly deceptive tactics in the fiercely contested Alabama Senate race, according to people familiar with the effort and a report on its results.

"The secret project, carried out on Facebook and Twitter, was likely too small to have a significant effect on the race, in which the Democratic candidate it was designed to help, Doug Jones, edged out the Republican, Roy S. Moore. But it was a sign that American political operatives of both parties have paid close attention to the Russian methods, which some fear may come to taint elections in the United States.

"One participant in the Alabama project, Jonathon Morgan, is the chief executive of New Knowledge, a small cyber security firm that wrote a scathing account of Russia’s social media operations in the 2016 election that was released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"An internal report on the Alabama effort, obtained by The New York Times, says explicitly that it 'experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.' "

Anna Bauman produced this segment for broadcast.

This segment aired on December 20, 2018.

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