Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–3/2/19

Russian President Vladimir Putin superimposed into a Russian Flag. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

This is part of an ongoing series where I review some of the ads purchased by the Russians. In doing so I hope we can get a better understanding of what they were trying to do, and how to recognize it the next time we’re faced with propaganda.

If you want to follow along, the ads can all be downloaded here.

So far I’ve gone through two of the folders of advertisements. Those ads date from June to July of 2015. I broke down how many ads were directed to which groups.

From the 2015-q2/2015-06 folder, out of 125 ads listed:

  • 76 went to Black Matters
  • 30 went to LGBT-United
  • 16 went to PatriotUS
  • 3 went to L For Life

From the 2015-q3/2015-07 folder, out of 133 ads listed:

  • 77 went to Black Matters
  • 32 went to LGBT-United
  • 22 went to PatriotUS
  • 2 went to ShootUSA

It looks like they were mainly building up a posting history for those groups. While there was an occasional notable post among them, most were simple memes and quotes, if that. What they did do was create a backlog of posts to make the group look legitimate as more people clicked through.

I’m going through the August 2015 ads right now and, little by little, they seem to be kicking up the incendiary language. Until then, enjoy the open thread, and remember, we can beat the Russians by not becoming divided.

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