[Ed. – Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get sillier. If you thought the repellent ad for Northam’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign was despicable — this is the ad Ben Bowles wrote about, depicting supporters of Republican Ed Gillespie as predators chasing down terrified people of color — Russian bots made you do it.]
The Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam campaign released a report that blamed online ‘bots’ for the increased online activity over the Latino Victory Fund (LVF) ad that featured an Ed Gillespie supporter attempting to run down minority children.
The Latino Victory Fund ad became a center point of the Virginia gubernatorial race; the Northam campaign and the Latino Victory Fund faced bipartisan backlash over the controversial ad. Even the Washington Post called the ad “vile” and “despicable.” Virginia campaign finance reports revealed that the Latino Victory Fund coordinated with the Northam campaign on the controversial ad.
Rather than admit that the LVF ad stirred controversy among Virginia residents, the Northam campaign released a study commissioned by Discourse Intelligence that suggested that the increased online activity was mostly attributed to “online bots.”