Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–4/7/19

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.

It’s easy to forget that Russia targeted more than just the US. October 2015 also saw a blitz of Facebook ads aimed at Europe. They all had the same image, but with different text attached, all pushing an anti-refugee agenda.



P(1)0003417: (note the slight change to the image)


This folder showed no evidence of humor used, at least for that month.

Things did get a little confused when the group “United Muslims of America” posted–to an American market–a “Welcome to Europe” ad (p(1)0003722):

This time I’m not sure if this was sloppy ad-making, or an attempt by Russia to get Europe upset at the US being so presumptuous as to welcome refugees to their shores. I don’t know if we’re going to ever know for sure.

For now, though, please enjoy this Open Thread, and have a pleasant Sunday.

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