Ever since revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct were first published in early October, the growing list of harassment scandals has dominated social media, including on Twitter accounts linked to Russian propagandists. From Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer to Al Franken and Charlie Rose, these accused harassers have all been mocked and attacked on the approximately 600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations tracked by the nonpartisan Alliance for Securing Democracy.
Except for Roy Moore. The Republican Senate candidate running in a tight race in today’s special election in Alabama, who has been accused of improper conduct with a 14-year-old girl and is facing sexual assault allegations by other women, has been favored by these Russian accounts. Last week, about 14% of the tweets tracked by the Alliance’s Hamilton 68 project revolved around sexual misconduct. Of those, half defended Moore against the allegations and half attacked Democrats like Franken accused of harassment. As Mother Jones reported, of the pro-Moore articles shared by these accounts during a week in mid-November, “close to 70% attacked the credibility of the accuser(s), 38% attacked the media in general or the Washington Post in particular, and one story attacked Lindsey Graham for not defending Moore.”
And today, Moore’s official account, #VoteForRoyMoore, was the 7th most-shared hashtag by these accounts, an increase of 1,300% in activity over the last 48 hours. And VoteJudgeMoore.com was one of the top domains shared by the accounts. Bret Schafer, an analyst with the group, says he can’t recall seeing any tweets attacking Moore shared by the accounts.
“If it’s an accused Democrat or someone connected to a liberal cause, they’re just going to be attacked,” he tells Fast Company. “But generally speaking, if it’s a figure who’s in the Trump world [who is in the news for sexual harassment], typically it’s just ignored.”MB