Major Democrats are already being hammered with waves of propaganda on social media that some data scientists say looks like the work of foreign actors.
Politico reports that a review of recently extracted data from Twitter and other social media platforms shows "a wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at Democratic 2020 candidates" that appears aimed at sowing "division and chaos" within the party.
The four biggest targets of these campaigns so far have been Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former congressman Beto O'Rourke, who hasn't even yet announced whether he's running for president.
"It looks like the 2020 presidential primary is going to be the next battleground to divide and confuse Americans," Guardians.ai cofounder Brett Horvath tells Politico. "As it relates to information warfare in the 2020 cycle, we’re not on the verge of it -- we’re already in the third inning."
Researcher Kelly Jones, meanwhile, has tracked the activities of right-wing trolls and has found that they've been crafting social media memes for each major Democratic candidate who announces that attempt to exploit class, racial and ethnic divisions.
"We’re seeing a lot of that rhetoric for nearly each candidate that comes out," Jones tells Politico. "There is a call to action on these fringe sites. The field is going to be so crowded that they say ‘OK: ‘Operation Divide the Left.'"