Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Russian Election Meddling Extended to Pokemon Go

Russian Election Meddling Extended to Pokemon Go

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.

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. The contest featured a Pokemon named "Eric Garner" as an example.

The campaign posted on its Tumblr page to urge users to play Pokémon Go as part of a contest.

CNN claims that the group encouraged players to name their Pokemon after victims of police brutality and then place that Pokemon in a gym near where the incident occurred.

On the plus side, CNN couldn't find any evidence that anyone actually entered the contest, so maybe Pokemon Go players are a little smarter than the public thinks.when they're not running into traffic or crashing their cars to catch Pokemon, that is.

"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 told CNN. This "contest" required people to take screen shots from their phone and share over other social networks, not within our game. 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.

As Niantic explains, there is no way to message or communicate with one another within the Pokemon Go app. Read the full CNN investigation here.

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