In addition to the efforts to undermine Harris & # 39; s identity as a black woman, an erroneous claim that Harris is not entitled to lead to the president because both parents are strangers has also been in circulation. The allegation echoes the false birther conspiracy scattered around President Barack Obama – and some of the same people involved in spreading that conspiracy are involved in circulating the false claims of Harris.
"You. Are. Not. Black", a Twitter user who was suspended from the service the next morning, tweeted at Harris shortly after California's senator confronted former Vice President Joe Biden about his comments on working with segregationist senators and his former resistance to bushing.
Trump Jr. reinforced these attacks when on Thursday he shared a tweet sent by a user with the statement "Kamala Harris is * not * an American variety. She is half Indian and half Jamaican."
"Is it true? Wow," asked Trump Jr. along with the shared tweet. He later deleted his tweet. A spokesman for Trump Jr. told The New York Times that there was a misunderstanding.
"Its tweet was simply the one asking if it was true that Kamala Harris was semi-Indian because it was nothing he had ever heard before" Andy Surabian, the spokesman told The Times and added: "And when he saw, that people had misunderstood the purpose of his tweet, he deleted it quickly. "
This weekend Harris's condemnation campaign and some of his democratic opponents attacked.
Decker began tracking online conversation about Harris after she announced her candidacy in January. At that time, Decker was a colleague at Harvard's Shorenstein Center, studying online misinformation and the spread of extremist content across social media.
Decker said the first instance of meme he found online was from 201
"By comparing Harris to Rachel Dolezal, the memoirs attempted to shake Harris's identity lies about blackness & # 39; and to conceal the truth about who she is," Decker told CNN on Monday.
Birther conspiracy theorists also have circulated material that challenges Harris' privilege to lead the president. Harris, born in Oakland, California, is entitled to head for president.
"The opposite attack on Harris & # 39; eligibility highlights how political disinformation operators reuse stories that have previously been successful in hyperpartic society," explains Decker, adding that some of the main architects of the birther conspiracy against Obama are exploiting social media to spread similar lies about Harris.
"We saw no coordinated use of automation during recent debates," said a Twitter spokesman. Decker said that even without the use of automated accounts, individuals could coordinate to spread the attacks. Automation, he says, is easier to spot, while groups of Twitter users who coordinate to spread a smear are more difficult and present an even more difficult challenge for Twitter.
Harris has previously answered those who have questioned her black heritage.
"So I was born in Oakland and raised in the United States except in the years I was in high school in Montreal, Canada," Harris replied at the time with a laugh. "And, look, that's the same thing they did for Barack (Obama). It's not new to us, and I think we know what they're trying to do."
"They are trying to do what has been happening over the past two years, which are powerful voices trying to seize hatred and division, and therefore we must recognize when we are played," says Harris .