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Pokemon Go Played a Role in the Russian Meddling

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It seems like everything can become a weapon nowadays if it falls in the hands of the wrong people. Even the most harmless things can become dangerous. This is apparently what happened in the case of the popular mobile app Pokemon Go. According to an October 12 report from CNN, Russia went as far as to even use this app and the Black Lives Matter movement to encourage the racial tensions that were already existing in the United States.

According to the report, back in July 2016, a Tumblr page that was connected with the infamous Russian Internet Research Agency published some kind of contest. Players who were supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement were asked to go and play the game near the places where police brutality had happened. Moreover, they needed to change the names of their characters to those of the victims of those incidents. This was supposedly yet another way through which Russia tried to destabilize and already fragile country, especially when it comes to racial issues.

Pokemon Go, a weapon

What it even more interesting is that it all connects and makes perfect sense, now that it has been discovered. That problematic Tumblr page that encouraged players to do this had links with another campaign called Don’t Shoot Us. This was a movement that was mimicking the ideas and foundation of Black Lives Matter. Its name is even very close to one of its slogans which goes “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”.

This was a campaign that was spread and operating on multiple social media platforms. It even had an official website, along with pages on Facebook, Instagram, a YouTube channel, and a Twitter account. So, it was not surprising when its Facebook page was one of those that the company removed after establishing that it had dubious Russian connections.

An entire web

CNN’s report is also saying that this Tumblr page display a certain Pokemon that had the name Eric Garner. He died by the hands of a police officer. Actually, this bizarre post acted as a contest where people could win Amazon gift cards. However, the investigation wasn’t able to find any evidence that anyone took part or that they actually got the gift cards. All pages apart from the YouTube channel and Tumbr page have been suspended. Those two are still active.

Image source: flickr