On September 15, 2020, The Washington Post published the story, “Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter”. The article exposed LD12 House Republican candidate Jake Hoffman’s communications firm, Rally Forge, which employed minors to spam social media pages with disinformation about the threat of COVID-19 and to cast doubt on the integrity of the elections process. Thousands of posts flooded Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram this summer at Hoffman’s direction, an effort to influence users using deceptive online tactics.
Facebook and Twitter took action against Hoffman and Rally Forge on October 8, 2020. Per The Washington Post, Rally Forge was “working on behalf” of Turning Point Action, which is associated with Turning Point USA. Facebook, in response, removed 200 accounts and 55 pages as well as 76 Instagram accounts. A majority of the accounts and pages were found to be operated by teenagers in the Phoenix area who were employed by Hoffman.
An individual who profits from the spread of divisiveness and disinformation is not fit to represent in the Arizona House. With the support of fellow LD12 voters, I filed as a write-in candidate on September 19, 2020. The voters of LD12 deserve a candidate who holds dear the values of community and truth. I am running to represent ALL of LD12 and to serve my community with dignity and respect.