Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–5/11/19

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. All of today’s ads can be found in the 2015-q4/2015-11 folder.

In the months leading up to November 2015, the hacker group Anonymous built up their “Operation KKK” which was to release a list of “shocking” names of people involved in the Ku Klux Klan. In the end, there was little surprise in the official release and it was as much of a shock as Al Capone’s vault. That didn’t stop the Russian ad writers from capitalizing on all the attention.

Ad p(1)0001967 got over 22,000 ad impressions with a link to a petition to get the KKK listed as a terrorist organization (I’m not certain if this petition was started by a Russian troll, or if they were capitalizing on an existing petition):

Ad p(1)0003781 linked directly to the petition instead of their social media group:

Again, it’s hard to tell what was instigated by the Russians and what was simply capitalized on.

THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD. Be kind to each other, and have a pleasant Saturday.

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