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As election season gets underway, beware of fake social media campaign pages

Posted at 9:24 PM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 22:24:01-04

As election season gets underway, experts are warning voters to beware of fake campaign pages on social media.

In the Lafayette Mayor-President's race, at least two candidates, Carlee Alm-Labar and Josh Guillory, are fighting impersonators online.

KATC Political Analyst Pearson Cross said that 15 to 20 percent of voters get their election information from social media.

"So, if you're on social media and that's where you're finding out about politics, who to vote for and what people stand for and you're looking at a fake page, that's a big problem."

In national election cycles, Cross believes it's almost a given to see fake news; however, he said that he's surprised to see that trend trickle into local politics.

"By the time you get down to the local level, the thing it seems everyone is asking is who has that much time to try to sabotage an opponent. It's amazing that it's gotten down this far."

The challenge for candidates fighting fake pages is getting social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to take them down before election day.

"It's not very good politicking to spread lies about candidates. The people who are doing this should be ashamed of themselves, frankly."

Cross said throughout this election season it's important to vet what you read, find multiple sources, and ask questions.

He even suggests on the local level to reach out to the candidates themselves to have a conversation with them on where they stand on issues.

Five candidates are vying for the Lafayette Mayor-President seat: Carlee Alm-Labar, Simone Champagne, Josh Guillory, Carlos Harvin, and Nancy Marcotte.

Election Day is October 12.