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

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.

Even as they seek to divide us, the Russians found a topic to cross party lines–wasteful spending. November 2015 saw the birth of the Gov_Spending Instagram group. Their first ad was p(1)0001747:

The target audience was simply people who are interested in politics. However, two others were directly aimed at conservatives. P(1)0001753 is aimed at Republicans:

P(1)0001769 is aimed at members of the Tea Party:

P(1)0001759 is aimed towards “liberals” and “moderates:

I have to wonder if they aimed the group at both parties knowing each one believes the government does have “wasteful spending” but disagree on what would be considered “wasteful”. I also wonder if they’re just spreading a wide net to see who responds more to the group, and use it from there. It’s possible there’s another reason that hasn’t occurred to me.

Please enjoy this open thread, and have a pleasant Sunday.

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