Facebook and Twitter did Democrats no favors in the 2016 presidential election, thanks to their facilitation of election interference through Russian-backed ads. But ahead of 2020, some presidential candidates – including U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – are turning to a new online platform to amass support on the campaign trail.
New York-based MobilizeAmerica is both an app and a website that caters to Democratic and progressive campaigns and causes. It allows volunteers to sign up for canvassing shifts and supporters to register for rallies – all on one centralized platform.
As The Wall Street Journal notes, MobilizeAmerica isn’t the first tech-based campaign tool to add fuel to political campaigns, but it’s certainly one of the first to emerge directly from the 2016 election. Founders Alfred Johnson, a vet of both President Obama’s 2008 campaign and Silicon Valley, and Allen Kramer, who worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, started the company in 2017 after witnessing mobilizing efforts in the wake of President Trump’s election. Virginia lawmakers and the then-Pennsylvania congressional candidate Conor Lamb were some of the first to win their seats with the help of MobilizeAmerica.
Now, Gillibrand is embracing the tech, though she’s not the only one. U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris have been using the tool in their 2020 organizing efforts. At this point, there is no broad Republican equivalent to MobilizeAmerica, but the company has a long way to go before it can come close to matching the political influence of social media heavyweights.
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