Some Donald Trump supporters on 4chan–that time-honored bastion of gentility, courtesy, and sensibility– hatched a plan on the forum to use sockpuppet Twitter accounts to pit Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters against one other. The plan had a slogan: "Let's troll Bernie and Hillary supporters systematically."
Their scheme didn't really work, and has been removed from 4chan. But something like this could be effective in the future–and who knows, another instance of this same political game may be working elsewhere, undetected, right now.
"We could've gotten any anti-Bernie or anti-Hillary hashtag we wanted to trend and with nobody the wiser when the fights began," one of the organizers told The Daily Beast's Gideon Resnick.
Some hashtags he proposed on 4chan were: #BernieSlanders, #BernBroSlanders, #BerniebroTears, #BerniebroSobStories and #PettyBernie. Guess that helps explain why it flopped.
The plan was simple: get a bunch of people to create pro-Bernie Sanders and pro-Hillary Clinton accounts and go to war on Twitter. The sham accounts would use hashtags to slander the opposite candidate and try to rile up die-hard fans into saying accusatory things to the supporters on the other side. The goal was to create more divisions and somehow use it to help Donald Trump gain more support.
"We need to take advantage of this," the author of the original post wrote. "This is Trump's gift. If we're serious about a Trump presidency we need to start infiltrating their conversations in order to sow more divison. I'm talking systematic and long-term /mischief/, not just a hew [sic] minutes trolling dumbass SJW's (social justice warriors)."
According to Greg Hughes—the name the author of the post provided to The Daily Beast—it didn't pan out as well as intended, despite dozens of comments of approval on the post.
"If the thread and idea was successful it would've spawned a new thread- it didn't," Hughes, a customer service representative for a logistics company, told The Daily Beast. "No momentum, it just didn't catch fire. Maybe we could still do it but the weekend is over. Nobody has time now."