Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–3/23/19

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. The ads I’m using today came from the 2015-q3/2015-09 folder.

As of September of 2015, the Russian ads were still targeting the Black Lives Matter movement. In the beginning of the month, they posted a few ads mocking the phrase “all lives matter”, as seen in ads p(1)0001957 and p(1)0001960:

By the end of the month, though, they had added a couple other groups aimed at the black audience, including the “Blacktivist” group. This one had a whole different message about “all lives matter” in ad p(1)0003054:

I’m not sure yet if the switch is going to permanent, and the usual posts purchased for “Black Matters” will now aim towards “Blacktivists”, and I’m not sure if the Black Lives Matter message will change to All Lives Matter. They might end up keeping both groups live and aim the two different messages at two different audiences. This should become more clear as I get though more of the files.

Until then, please enjoy this open thread.

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