Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–3/24/19

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.

The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t the only one being exploited from both sides by Russian trolls. The gun control/Second Amendment battle is also fodder for these ads. Two from the “Patriot US” group make arguments for gun ownership. File p(1)0002281 is uncharacteristically coherent:

File p(1)0002329 also favors gun ownership, but also tosses in a few insults at liberals and “illegals”:

However, with the addition of an additional group aimed at conservatives, “Being Patriotic”, comes a suggestion towards a level of gun control and even points towards a petition on the White House website (which is no longer an active link). I was slightly amused by the language used, and referring to the Founding Fathers’ “commandments. File p(1)0005955:

As with yesterday’s comparison, I’m not sure if the Russians are trying to play both sides or if it was a one-time variation from their usual approach. I will post more as I find out more.

Until then, please enjoy this open thread, and have a fantastic weekend.

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