A quick Cambridge Analytica thought. Especially since the C4 broadcast, they look a lot like traditional American election ratfuckers, doing the sort of thing that Karl Rove used to get up to. I would enter a caveat here. As there is a ratfucker playbook, so there is a counter-playbook. You have squads of lawyers standing by at the capitol and volunteer poll-watchers at the voting booths. You challenge changes to the election law at the statehouse or in the courts. So on or so forth.
The problem, though, is that CA promised to deliver some of the effects by different means. You can’t send lawyers to a polling station to see off Facebook ads, and you certainly can’t do that to stop your own supporters’ and indeed your own response to the barrage of robot trolling from putting people off.
Also, there’s a question of scale. Classic dirty campaigning involved local knowledge, physical presence, and expertise in the laws of 51 states. A digital demobilisation campaign, though, can be delivered from a distance, in a semi-automated manner, at industrial scale. One in four US citizens seems to have been reached by at least one item of fake news. Not all of them can vote, so the percentage of electors was probably even higher.
As a general rule, changing the scale of something is always important and often has qualitative consequences.