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etvfutures.com October 17, 2017


Russians exploited Pokémon Go in their efforts to influence USA politics

13 October 2017, 04:36 | Brandon Parsons

CNN: 'Pokemon Go' was used by Russian trolls to sow discord on social media

Russian-linked campaign used Pokemon Go to meddle in election

The CNN story came after the New York Times reported earlier this month that Kremlin-linked cyber workers promoted content on Facebook that appeared to be of American origin, but was created to sow division on political issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement. The group reportedly posed as a member of the Black Lives Matter movement and used common services like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr to spread their targeted content. First reported by CNN, their Facebook page was one of the almost 500 accounts that were terminated after their Russian links were exposed.

The Moscow-linked actors appear to be the source of the campaign that had a goal to raise racial tensions by bringing up incidents of police brutality. The group created a contest whereby people would name their Pokémon after a police brutality victim, such as Eric Garner, and then compete to capture gyms with this Pokémon. If Pokemon Go players completed those two tasks, they could send a screenshot to an email in return for supposed prizes, including Amazon gift cards.

Regardless of what CNN is reporting or what they may be implicating regarding Russians, Niantic Labs - the creators of Pokemon Go - issued the media outlet a statement, making it known that they had no affiliation or knowledge about this particular contest, saying... This led to the discovery that the same groups also spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on Google and YouTube, and maintained some 200 accounts on Twitter.

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"It is important to note that Pokémon GO, as a platform, was not and can not be used to share information between users in the app so our platform was in no way being used".

CNN reports that there is no evidence that anyone actually entered the contest, which kicked off in July 2016, nor any evidence that rewards were given out.

If you want to know more about the Don't Shoot Us troll campaign, be sure to read the entire piece over on CNN.



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