Russia’s attempts to spark controversy and conflicts in the United States are well-known, but it seems they used more weapons than we would have expected. Also, some of these weapons sound extremely unlikely. Apparently, they made use of Pokemon Go to create some racial tension.
Pokemon Go, the most unlikely tool for Russian hackers
A recent report has just revealed how Russia used Pokemon Go to create controversy in the United States, and to give rise to some racial issues. In July 2016, a Tumblr page, which is now known to belong to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, sent a message to all Pokemon Go players who supported the Black Lives Matter cause.
The page told these people to go play the game in areas where police brutality instances have occurred. Also, the players were encouraged to change their current usernames and, instead, use the names of popular black people who fell victims to abusive policemen. However, Russia’s interventions didn’t stop here.
The group sparked racial controversies by using the popular game
The same Tumblr page also promoted a movement, which closely mimicked the activities of Black Lives Matter groups. This movement was called Do Not Shoot Us, had a website, and many pages across all social media platforms. They also used the slogan “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”. Facebook managed to find out the movement’s page was related to Russia, and it was taken down the platform shortly after that.
On the Tumblr page, there was a post regarding a player who named his character Eric Garner. This man died after a New York Police officer put him in a chokehold. The same post proposed a contest to Pokemon Go players, and the prize consisted of gift cards on Amazon.
It’s not clear if someone actually entered or won this contest, but this Tumblr page is still active. However, it changed its focus on different posts, mostly about Palestine. The Russia YouTube account is, also, still active, but all the other social media pages have been taken down.
Image Source: Pixabay