US POLITICS

Clinton Fans Accused Of Porn Attacks On Pro-Sanders FB Pages

Though the Clinton campaign is spending $1 million on a new digital strategy, some of her fans have resorted to less savory methods

US POLITICS
REUTERS
Apr 26, 2016 at 5:59 PM ET

The online war between supporters of Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders escalated ahead of Tuesday’s round of primaries, this time to include $1 million and an (alleged) coordinated porn attack.

According to The Hill, pro-Sanders Facebook pages such as Bernie or Bust, Bernie Believers and Bernie Sanders is my HERO, were attacked Monday night. Eyewitnesses said the pages were spammed with porn, and then reported for obscene content. Facebook confirmed to The Hill that the pages were in fact “inaccessible for a brief period.” On Tuesday afternoon, Vocativ observed pornographic images popping up on the group Bernie Sanders’ Dank Meme Stash.

The timing of the attacks didn’t go unnoticed. Last week, Correct the Record, a political action committee of fellow Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, introduced a $1 million initiative aimed at stymying online harassment from both Sanders supporters and Republicans. Called Barrier Breakers 2016, its mission statement outlines an enhanced digital strategy, but also singles out online engagement with “Bernie Bros.” With regard to the bros—characterized in the media as overzealous, white, frat boy types that troll opponents relentlessly online—promises to respond “quickly and forcefully to negative attacks and false narratives.”

Members of the popular Sanders subreddit r/SandersForPresident tried to figure out what was happening. Correct the Record, meanwhile, staunchly denied it had anything to do with the porno cyberattack. The group’s communications director, Elizabeth Shappell, also pointed out to Vocativ in an email that the group Bros 4 Hillary acknowledged that a “rogue member” of their organization was partially responsible for the porn.

“Correct the Record strongly condemns any form of online harassment, vile language, explicit content, or bullying. Barrier Breakers 2016 had nothing to do with this incident, and anyone reporting otherwise is not reporting the truth,” she wrote. “Barrier Breakers 2016 is currently engaging in only positive content supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign to be our next president.”