Pokemon Go Allegedly Used by Russian Busybodies to Incite Racism during 2016 U.S. Election


Published Date : Oct 13, 2017

Pokemon Go has been reportedly found to be used by Russian agents for meddling with the U.S. presidential election of 2016. The effort has been alleged to be centered on the ‘Don’t Shoot Us’ campaign. Supposed to carry Russian links, the campaign has been purportedly said to have exploited the game for stirring up racial tensions in the U.S. while using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

A report has said that a contest had been announced by the campaign in July 2016. The contest posted on the campaign’s Tumblr page encouraged Pokemon Go players to visit places of police brutality and name their Pokemons all those been shot by police, including Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Rewards had been given to players in the form of Amazon gift cards.

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Game developer of Pokemon Go, Niantic has said that the game had not been compromised. However, a statement by a spokesperson has revealed that the game assets had been misused and appropriated without the company’s permission for promotions by third parties. The company further said that the game had not and could not be used for sharing information between users. The contest had asked users to take screenshots and share them over other social networks, not within the game, the company has stated.

Presumably, Pokemon Go had been the only game used by the Don’t Shoot Us campaign. Nonetheless, the group had opened accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, the same that have been repeatedly named to have being used by Russian agents to promote division in the U.S. through online content.