The biggest mobile app of 2016 was without a doubt Pokémon Go. EVERYONE was playing this game. Now, come to find out, it has been connected to Russia.
Recently, it was discovered that Russia was using both Facebook and Twitter actively during the 2016 election. According to CNN, Russia was also using Pokémon Go, YouTube, and even Tumblr to pose as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement to create more racial tension among Americans.
A Kremlin-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency created the “Don’t Shoot Us” campaign which involved numerous divisive political messages being distributed across several different social media platforms.
From what we can gather, Pokémon Go’s involvement comes from a Tumblr post which announced a contest with the game. The contest encouraged people to find Pokémon near locations where alleged incidents of police brutality happened. Then players were told to name their characters after the victims. It’s unclear what the end goal here was.
The creators of Pokémon Go did release a statement saying…
“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. It is important to note that Pokémon GO, as a platform, was not and cannot be used to share information between users in the app so our platform was in no way being used. This ‘contest’ required people to take screen shots from their phone and share over other social networks, not within our game. Niantic will consider our response as we learn more.”
You can read the rest of the story HERE.