Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–5/25/19

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-q4/2015-12 folder.

This new folder covers December of 2015. I figured there would be mention of Christmas. Instead there was a giant presence from a new group: Stop Refugees. In fact, almost half of the ads placed that December were for Stop Refugees. The ads were all very similar–the same image (save for one or two minor changes) with a one sentence (or less) statement. Sometimes those statements couldn’t follow the basic rules of grammar and spelling. Take for example p(1)0003205. It takes the There/Their/They’re issue to a whole new level:

An ad posted the next day, p(1)0003207 fixes the error:

It’s worth noting that, later on, they go back to the original bad spelling.

But it’s not just spelling errors. There’s also poor grammar:

You’ll notice this ad has more specifics in its target, including fans of Chicks on the Right, Conservative Tribune, and other right-leaning groups and websites. You’ll also notice it had more ad impressions than the others. I have a feeling that, as time goes on, the ads will be more and more targeted. Then again, I’d have put money on them learning basic spelling and grammar when trying to “fit in.”

THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD. Have a great Saturday, and be kind to one another.

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