During the Virginia gubernatorial race, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe spent over $100,000 on Facebook promoting “fake news” sites, according to Fox News.
The Democrat-run Sites Masquerades as Local News Sites
The liberal’s ads, which were seen more than 3.5 million times, are disguised on a Facebook page with a title that seems similar to that of a local website. The ads direct viewers to third-party sites.
These sites then purport to provide local news, but are actually used to support progressive candidates. The webpages have been dubbed “political propaganda” and “deliberate misinformation.”
The news comes about a week before Virginia’s Election Day, as the contenders struggle for each and every single vote. Polls show McAuliffe, as well as Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin, in a close race.
Hundreds of thousands of Virginia voters have already cast their ballots in the governor’s race. The surge in early voting, first spurred by the pandemic, may play a role in delaying the final results if the tally is extremely close.https://t.co/XLWQ7HFxYz
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 27, 2021
The advertising for the McAuliffe team is smart and ambiguous. McAuliffe, like most politicians, promotes his campaign on Facebook using his own name. However, the governor runs a Facebook page that skirts the lines between political campaigning and misinformation.
“The Download Virginia” is the name of the website, which McAuliffe secretly unveiled in June. Despite the fact the page’s title seems like it belongs to a journalistic company, it has yet to publish any posts or photographs, and just 67 individuals have “liked” it.
Instead, the majority of voters who have seen “The Download” saw it so as a result of sponsored content. The advertising isn’t visible on the page, but it may be retrieved through Facebook Ad Archive Reports, which is a tool used by reporters and academics.
Since June, the McAuliffe campaign spent $471,044 on advertisements distributed through this page. That figure is expected to climb before Election Day, given the presence of many adverts at the time of publishing.
The adverts usually include a comment and a link to a positive conventional news article about the campaign. Seven different advertising (and dozens of variations) are strewn throughout the links to reputable media, promoting websites widely recognized to be “fake news.”
NEW Virginia Governor's Race Poll:
(Parents of K-12 Children)
Terry McAuliffe: 39%
Glenn Youngkin: 56%
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) October 25, 2021
Will Democrats Get Away With This?
The Download published advertising in July, highlighting McAuliffe’s stance on smaller businesses. The advertisement provides a link to an article on The Virginia Dogwood, a third-party webpage.
The Dogwood advertises itself as a local news outlet with daily stories about local matters in Virginia. It claims to specialize sections for significant themes and has a newsletter designed to provide Virginians with “all the information you need.”
On a page describing its magazine, The Dogwood claims to provide “reliable, fact-based news.” The website states it is managed and maintained by Courier Newsroom, a “civic news firm,” as per Dogwood.
However, the leftist dark money group ACRONYM established and initially sponsored Courier Newsroom. Early backers include billionaire Democrat contributor George Soros, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and a consortium of film companies, as per the Wall Street Journal.
According to Axios, the “newsroom” has now been purchased by Tara McGowan’s “Good Information Project,” which is supported by many of the same backers as the “newsroom.”