Propaganda Watch–Russian Ads…Maybe 4/24/21

Russian President Vladimir Putin superimposed into a Russian Flag. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

Today’s post is going to be a little different. Today I was going to update my notes with the March 2017 ads. This involves opening up each ad one by one, and writing notes about each ad. Six ads in I noticed something that sent me spiraling into a rabbit hole.

Six ads in I noticed the Blacktivist ad had something added to it’s post (file p(1)0000232 for those of you playing at home):

They identified the Blacktivist group as an NGO. This had me wondering–was the Blacktivist group an actual Non-Government Organization? Try as I might I couldn’t find anything that actually registered Blacktivist as an official NGO. I did find an article from the Houston Style magazine in 2016 discussing a rally Blacktivist organized to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther party. There they mention it’s an NGO, and list the Facebook page.

Out of curiosity I clicked on the link.

The page is still active.

They’re posting the same type of memes that the group did in 2016 and 2017, like this one I saw reposted on my feed a few days ago:

May be an illustration of text that says 'It'sa gun! It's a gun! Skittles It'sa gun! It's a taser! M.PATRINOS'

According to the “Page Transparency” information, the group started (or restarted) in June of last year. They’ve run more than $30,000 worth of ads, mostly centered around self-promotion and voting.

It also mentions they’re run by the parent company, Real Voices Media.

Real Voices Media looks to be a content farm which specializes in “[Giving] people tools and training to create communities and share their stories.” They’ve run one ad--their last post from 2019 directing people to their website…which also hasn’t been updated since 2019. For reference, the Blacktivist page they run has posted as recently as four hours before my typing this.

Both the Blacktivist and Real Voices Media Facebook pages link to a phone number–a cell phone owned by Tykia Washington, age 44, of Washington D.C. I can’t find any Linkedin or other web presence that mentions both Tykia Washington and Real Voices Media on the same page. I found a Facebook page for one woman by that name who put their location at Washington D.C. She looks a lot younger than forty four, but in this day and age, it could be filters. It also mentions nothing about her owning an internet content farm. I think you can see why red flags have been raised.

So what does this mean? I have no idea. I have no idea if it’s the same people who were behind the old Blacktivist page. I have no idea if it is all originating outside the US. And for all I know this is just a really weird coincidence. However, I think it’s safe to assume there are people out there still playing the same propaganda games as they did four years ago. I’m going to keep my eyes open and keep you guys posted if I run across anything else.

THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD. Take care, and be well.

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