Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Russian Federation reportedly used Pokémon Go in an effort to inflame racial tensions

Russian Federation reportedly used Pokémon Go in an effort to inflame racial tensions

Even the short-lived fervor over the cell phone game Pokémon Go was used as a tool by Russian agents to influence the 2016 presidential election, a new report by CNN has found.

The name of the campaign is "Don't Shoot Us", likely a reference to the "hands up, don't shoot" slogan that became a rallying cry of sorts after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson.

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. There will be ten winners, each of which will receive a Pokémon GO Plus device, a poster signed by Niantic and wireless Bluetooth ear buds.

Users could visit sites where police brutality had been recorded, and were encouraged to give their Pokemon characters names of real-life victims, such as Eric Garner, who died on Staten Island.


CNN could not find evidence that anyone actually participated in the contest, it said, or that the page had distributed the gift cards.

"It's clear from the images shared with us by CNN that our game assets were appropriated and misused in promotions by third parties without our permission", Niantic, the makers of Pokémon Go, said in a statement provided to CNN.

Use the AR camera feature in the Pokémon GO application to snap a photo of a Pokémon while you're using the app.

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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