The content they pull comes from creators who lean left, and largely believe that their content deserves credit. “If Future Former Republicans want to aid in the effort to defeat Donald Trump in November, I think that help is necessary,” Stefan Smith, digital campaign director for REFORM and former online engagement editor for the Pete Buttigieg campaign told The Verge. “But when you’re a guest in somebody else’s house, you’ve got to abide by the house rules, and one thing that we don’t do on our side is steal from people.
Hui posted a tweet last month of a series of cute animal emojis holding heart-stamped letters with the text, “they’re voting by mail for Ed Markey. ” A week later, the Lincoln Project reposted the same set of emojis, changing the copy to “They’re voting by mail for Biden. “I’m a young person,” Hui told The Verge. “I’m a woman of color.
But conservatives memers come from online forums like and message boards like the subreddit r/The_Donald and 4Chan where credit doesn’t matter as much as seeing popular Republican politicians and influencers repost content. “There is a very constant flow of memes, jokes, and an entire culture on the right where attribution simply is not important,” says David Goldstein, CEO of Democratic digital consulting firm Tovo Lab. “What’s important is getting the big fish to go ahead and grab your content and promote it. “There is…
The PAC has spent millions on advertising attacking the current president in recent months, but they’ve also racked up nearly two million followers on Twitter and nearly 350,000 on Instagram by trolling the administration in a manner that appeals to “the donor class” and “extremely online political junkies,” Reed Galen, a Lincoln Project cofounder, told Politico in July.
In July, the PAC reposted a meme from Vic Berger IV, a popular internet creator, without naming him in the tweet. “I made this image and the Iraqi child-killing neocons at The Lincoln Project stole it,” Berger tweeted in response last month, an apparent reference to the project-founders’ support for the Iraq War.
The anti-Trump Lincoln Project has a reputation for goofy memes attacking the Trump administration online, so when they posted a whimsical fancam in support of the United States Postal Service on Twitter over the weekend, it seemed par for the course.
The organization has ripped content off of small creators, too, where options are fewer and credit matters more. “Who gets stolen from is the key question,” Smith said “If you’re a blue checkmark with 30,000 followers, and someone steals your tweet and puts it on an Instagram post and cuts off your username, does that hurt you?
There’s simply no equivalent of forums like /r/the_donald for Democrats, which can put candidates at a disadvantage. “So many of the left’s content creators are not affiliated with any kind of central hub or repository that we can routinely tap into,” Goldstein says. “That’s obviously really going to start to hurt if you’re a bigger account and you need a constant stream of content to push out to keep people engaged, keep growing your followership, and stay part of the conversation.
The Lincoln Project hasn’t made any public statements about how they approach lifting content without attribution, unlike Jerry Media.