Russian Election Meddling Extended to Pokemon Go

Yolanda Curtis
October 13, 2017

"The mega-popular smartphone game, "#Pokémon GO", was reportedly used by #Russian-identified trolls in order to get involved in the 2016 U.S. election. In fact, the meddling was more of a bait and switch as far as Pokemon Go is concerned.

CNN reporters discovered that a group posing as a Black Lives Matter movement promoted a Pokemon Go competition that asked players to hunt for Pokemon at Police brutality sites.

This Russian-controlled group called themselves "Don't Shoot Us" and appears to have been run from the now-infamous Internet Research Agency. As part of these efforts, the group encouraged its followers to make use of a feature that allows users to rename any Pokemon that they have captured.

The mobile game app Pokémon Go was reportedly used by a Russian-linked campaign to meddle in USA politics. Those rules claim that if a player captured a Pokémon Go gym near such a crime scene with a character named after the victim and submitted a photo as proof, they'd win Amazon gift cards.

CNN said it had no evidence to suggest anyone actually participated in the competition, but said that by promoting the event the Russians may have been attempting to "upset or anger" people living near areas where people had been killed by police. This "contest" required people to take screen shots from their phone and share over other social networks, not within our game.

As of this time, the different Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts used for the campaign were temporarily shut down and suspended.

Pokemon Go was only one of several popular services used by the Don't Shoot Us campaign, according to the CNN Money report; the same group had accounts on YouTube and Tumblr, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Other reports by iNewsToday