Russian Election Meddling Extended to Pokemon Go

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The group "Don't Shoot Us" followed a now-familiar pattern of embracing politically divisive causes in order to help spark societal turmoil in the U.S. Facebook had said it found 470 fake accounts with Russian backers that spread messages on all manner of topics, from immigration to gun control, anything that might drive a wedge in the American fabric.

Virtually everything the Don't Shoot Us social media accounts (which were active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere) published or shared was meant to stir up trouble or cause division by taking advantage of activists who had grievances with the justice system in the United States. Similar activities were uncovered on YouTube, and now clearly Tumblr.

According to a CNN report, the Internet Research Agency-Russia's online dirty tricks squad-included the smash mobile game in a wider campaign to incite hatred and racial division within America. As part of these efforts, the group encouraged its followers to make use of a feature that allows users to rename any Pokemon that they have captured.


At one point, the Tumblr page for Don't Shoot Us was advertising a contest encouraging Pokemon Go players to hunt for Pokemon at sites where police brutality had occurred and name the Pokemon they caught after the victims. We're asking, because Niantic is holding an in-app augmented reality photography contest for all players where Pokémon Go has been officially released. Game maker Niantic Labs told CNN that users can't actually share information in the game with each other.

A group linked to Russian Federation allegedly used Pokemon Go to stir up trouble past year in the United States.

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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