- Silicon Valley venture capitalist Reid Hoffman apologized Wednesday following reports that he donated $750,000 to a group which allegedly used misinformation tactics on social media during the 2017 Alabama special election, reports the Washington Post.
- Hoffman, a vocal Democratic supporter, said he wasn’t aware of the group’s misinformation project.
- The project involved creating a Facebook page aimed at conservative Alabamians as part of an effort to divide the party.
Linkedin co-founder and Greylock Partner’s investor Reid Hoffman apologized Wednesday for funding a group linked to a misinformation campaign during Alabama’s 2017 special election for the US Senate, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
It was the first time that Hoffman, a prominent Silicon Valley billionaire, acknowledged his donation to the group, called American Engagement Technologies, or AET. The group allegedly used social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to boost support for Democrat Doug Jones in his ultimately successful campaign against Republican Roy Moore.
Hoffman donated $750,000 to the group, according to the Post.
Hoffman, a vocal democratic donor, said in the statement that he was not aware of the group’s tactics at the time of the donation.
“I find the tactics that have been recently reported highly disturbing. For that reason, I am embarrassed by my failure to track AET — the organization I did support — more diligently as it made its own decisions to perhaps fund projects that I would reject,” Hoffman said in a statement to the Washington Post.
Hoffman’s apology comes one week after the New York Times reported details of the project, known as Project Birmingham.
Project Birmingham involved creating Facebook page aimed at conservative Alabamians, according to the Times. The page was used to try to divide Republicans and encouraged them to edorse a write-in candidate. It also involved a scheme to link Moore to Russian bots, according to the report.
Read the full Washington Post report here.