There's going to be a lot of this in the 2020 election season. Bots and trolls asking divisive questions that have nothing to do with the issues facing our country, freaking people out on social media, and then cable news swoops in with a panel to "report the controversy."
Just think, we've got 631 days more of this kind of nonsense. It appears at least some candidates know how to parry it this time. CNN:
In an interview with The Breakfast Club hosts DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God that aired Monday, the show's hosts asked the California Democrat to address a series of derogatory memes that have circulated on social media. One of the hosts cited a meme that said Harris is "not African-American" because her parents were immigrants born in India and Jamaica and she spent her high school years in Canada.
"So I was born in Oakland, and raised in the United States except for the years that I was in high school in Montreal, Canada," Harris responded with a laugh. "And look, this is the same thing they did to Barack (Obama). This is not new to us and so I think that we know what they are trying to do."
"They are trying to do what has been happening over the last two years, which is powerful voices trying to sow hate and division, and so we need to recognize when we're being played," Harris said.
This is true with nonsense questions about "black enough," anything having to do with the racist "Pocahontas" slur against Elizabeth Warren, and all questions of "likeability" for women candidates over men. To that I would add "Democrats in disarray" stories when the real story is Democrats having a healthy discussion about how to meet shared goals.
It's also time to recognize our power in blocking and reporting bot-like behavior on social media. We have many more tools at our disposal than we did in 2016 to detect and call out bots and trolls.
Don't forget to follow and retweet those accounts that stand for responsible political interaction, as well. :D