Report: Progressives Created Hidden 'Online Powerhouse' That Could Swing Narrative During Elections

© AP Photo / Elise AmendolaIn this June 19, 2017, file photo, a person types on a laptop keyboard in North Andover, Mass.
In this June 19, 2017, file photo, a person types on a laptop keyboard in North Andover, Mass. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2022
Conservatives in the United States have been slamming the mainstream media for preferring the Democratic and progressive narrative and trying to silence other voices that do not fall in line with it.
Progressive strategists in the United States have secretly assembled a big network of social media communities in key states that can be activated ahead of elections or other important political contests, Axios reported.
The network operates under the name Real Voices Media. To gather an audience, it generates apolitical content of general interest, only to be able to "leverage the crowd on behalf of clients in what experts say is a potent persuasion strategy", as Axios puts it.
Among the beneficiaries are US President Joe Biden and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, both of whom are Democrats.
RVM oversees around 400 pages, one of which is The Main Street Sentitel - a website that has recently been actively promoted on Facebook and Instagram, according to Axios. While it is unclear who is behind the website, its publisher is Star Spangled Media LLC - a company created last month in New York.
According to Axios, The Sentinel has poured about $120,000 into advertising since last month, with the majority of ads running on Facebook and Instagram*, while some of them also target Michigan-specific websites.
The Sentinel's content is largely left-leaning, with many articles dedicated to backing Whitmer and attacking her Republican rivals.

"The Main Street Sentinel is a media and content hub with a clear mission: to clearly present critical, usable information on issues like the economy, education, health, safety and world events that our audiences need to know and will make them better, more informed citizens", the website describes its mission as.

The new website is just one of many pages under RVM's umbrella, with the "online powerhouse" funnelling some $500,000 spent on paid posts on the social media platforms, according to data from Meta*. Other pages overseen by the network concentrate on battleground states such as Arizona, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, and others.

"Our community managers have wide latitude over what they might be posting on any given day", RVM managing director Heather Holdridge told Axios. "The fact that we have built up these communities around nonpolitical things, but just around everyday interests, every day affinities where they live ... that presents an opportunity for folks who want to reach everyday people".

Conservatives have long accused the Democratic Party of using the uncontrolled power of big tech social media companies against them and even silencing and shadow-banning prominent Republican voices. Mainstream media outlets, according to conservatives, only promote a left-wing narrative while failing to report on stories that are less flattering to liberals.
Among the most recent examples is the story about Hunter Biden and his "laptop from hell". Initially shrugged off by mainstream media as "Russian disinformation", it was only reported by outlets like the New York Post. However, as soon as the Hunter Biden story ceased to pose a threat to Joe Biden's presidential campaign, mainstream media outlets finally started to pay attention to it. Still, many believe that the coverage (which remains modest) was nothing short of a "limited hangout", and the mainstream media continues to downplay the story.
*Facebook and Instagram (along with their parent company Meta) are banned in Russia over extremist activities
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