On 28 October 2016, the hashtag #DraftOurDaughters began trending on Twitter, vaguely connected with purportedly “leaked” ads produced by Hillary For America (an arm of the Hillary Clinton campaign).
#DraftOurDaughters appeared in the early hours of 28 October 2016, quickly becoming popular. Dozens of official looking images boasted a pro-war position, and one popular purported tweet from Clinton was circulated widely:
— Alisha Arsenault (@alishabae69) October 28, 2016
The depicted tweet appeared to exist only in screenshot form, and was not anywhere to be found on Hillary Clinton’s account. The tweet from Twitter user “@alishabae69” was the first ever published by that account, which was created in October 2016 and consisted solely of #DraftOurDaughters content.
The avatar for that account appeared to be lifted from a widely circulated image of a woman named Alena Ushkova. The photograph was first published in 2014, and apparently depicted a person not from the United States:
That article was clearly marked as an unvetted “community” submission, and contained obviously satirical content:
I wonder what Donald will have to say about this one… I’m sure my wife would be proud to stand up to Russia’s homophobic and Christian ways. #ImWithHer #EnlistForHillary #DraftOurDaughters
Remember to vote November 12th!
The #DraftOurDaughters hashtag was not an official Hillary Clinton campaign effort. The trend originated on 4chan’s /pol/, where users cooked up fake campaign ads and arranged to spread them on social media in an attempt to dupe fellow users. Separate threads on /pol/ laid out the plan and directed users to create as many versions of the memes as possible with which to flood social media, and there was no question the ads were neither legitimate nor reflected an actual Clinton campaign effort.
Clinton has gone on record supporting legislation to include women in the draft, but has also clarified that she favors an all-volunteer military:
“I am on record as supporting the all-volunteer military, which I think at this time does serve our country well,” Clinton told The Huffington Post. “And I am very committed to supporting and really lifting up the men and women in uniform and their families.”
The effort was one of several coordinated trolling efforts by the board and similar forums. Previous hoaxes included dangerous Bernie Sanders glowstick instructions, a fabricated tweet claiming that a McDonald’s worker spat in white people’s food, a widely reported spate of fake “white students’ unions” at colleges, and a massively viral “propaganda” video about refugees in Europe.