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Pokémon GO AR Photo Contest Launches Today

13 October 2017

CNN reported that a Russian-linked campaign called "Don't Shoot Us", likely run by Moscow-linked "troll farm" Internet Research Agency, used Pokemon Go - among several other mediums including Facebook and Twitter - and posed as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Players were told to change their characters' names to the victims of those incidents - an apparent effort to inflame racial tensions. The Instagram and Twitter account of the campaign have also been suspended, but the group's YouTube channel and website remain active.

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The group "Don't Shoot Us" followed a now-familiar pattern of embracing politically divisive causes in order to help spark societal turmoil in the U.S. Facebook had said it found 470 fake accounts with Russian backers that spread messages on all manner of topics, from immigration to gun control, anything that might drive a wedge in the American fabric. CNN could not find evidence that anyone actually participated in the contest, it said, or that the page had distributed the gift cards. According to the contest rules, if your AR photo is selected as one of the top 10 submissions, you'll receive a Pokémon GO Prize Pack containing a Pokémon GO Plus, a poster autographed by the Pokémon GO team, and wireless Bluetooth earbuds. This "contest" required people to take screen shots from their phone and share over other social networks, not within our game.

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Pokémon GO remains one of the most popular games on the App Store. Still, it's clear that the IRA was aware of the popularity of the app (especially in July 2016, the same month it launched) and was willing to make use of any tools in its arsenal to promote unrest among the American people. You never know, you can end up being that lucky victor.

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Pokémon GO AR Photo Contest Launches Today