Really… What is next? You can’t even turn on Pokemon Go now without Russia trying to sneak in messages to you.
According to CNN a Russian-linked campaign used Pokemon Go, and the Black Lives Matter movement, to influence last year’s election.
How did they do it? The Facebook page “Don’t Shoot Us,” which has since been linked to a Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency, asked players to go near locations of police shootings and name their Pokemon after the victim and then place that Pokemon in a Pokemon gym for everyone to see. Players who did this would then be entered in a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card. (There is no evidence of anyone winning this contest.)
As of now, it appears that the idea was that everyone seeing these names would cause conflict between those who took the side of the police and those who took the side of the deceased.
In addition to the Pokemon Go campaign, the Facebook page also shared videos of police shootings and linked back to a website called donotshoot.us. The website was registered to “Clerk York” in Illinois. However, there is no public evidence of a Clerk York living in Illinois when the website was registered in March 2016. Additionally, the address used on the registration is for a shopping mall.
The “Don’t Shoot Us” page is one of 470 pages that Facebook has suspended for being linked the Internet Research Agency.
That being said, it’s hard, if not impossible, to know how effective this Pokemon Go campaign was.