Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–6/22/19

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 2016-q1/2016-01 folder.

If January is any sign, 2016 will be the year of Williams & Kalvin. I posted about them a few weeks back, when their videos were just starting to show up. As a reminder, Williams and Kalvin were supposedly two brothers from the American south who posted videos talking about race relations and politics. In reality, they were two Nigerian students recruited for the videos by a Russian media company.

In the months prior, there were only two or three videos posted at a time. In January, the Russians posted 57, three times as many as the next highest category. Most were very repetitive, but here are a few examples. P(1)0001481 targets people who like both “Black Tea Patriots” and “HuffPost Black Voices”:

P(1)0001581 drew contrasts between the 2016 Oregon rancher standoff and the 1985 MOVE bomb drop in Philadelphia:

For me, it felt awkward for them to ask you to “Like” “Black Discrimination” as in p(1)0001588:

THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD. May you all have a great Saturday.

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