Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–4/14/19

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-q4/2015-10 folder.

October 1, 2015, a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, killing ten (including the gunman himself) and injuring eight. To date it is the deadliest mass murder in Oregon’s history. The Russian ad factory couldn’t miss an opportunity to remind us to stay divided. P(1)0002097 called for gun control and criticized how the media addresses white killers:

On the other side of the political spectrum, ad p(1)0002379 exploited the incident to encourage people to stand by the second amendment:

This solidifies my opinion that no topic was safe from exploitation in these ads, as long as they could be used to drive the wedge dividing us deeper and make the chasm wider.

This is an Open Thread. Have a great Sunday.

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