Now The Threat Is That Russia Used Pokémon Go

The claims of Russian meddling in the election have been becoming increasingly absurd. With many of the prior claims being shown to be false, there has been a steady progression of new claims and exclusive news report. We learned that Russia spent $100,000 on Facebook ads, which sounds rather trivial to anyone who understands how much larger Clinton’s war chest of over a billion dollars was compared to Russia’s $100,000. Supposedly Russia was treacherous enough to use web sites with puppies. Earlier in the week The Daily Beast exposed a couple of unknown rappers as working for Russia. Now CNN is running an exclusive as to how Russia allegedly used Pokémon Go. Mashable summarized the report:

In one of the most absurd twists yet in the investigation into Russia-aligned election meddling, CNN reports that Kremlin-linked actors may have tried to use the hype around the augmented-reality app to inflame racial divisions.

If you’re having trouble imagining how whimsical Japanese fantasy creatures might connect to deep-seated societal tensions, you’re in good company. The answer isn’t exactly intuitive. Apparently, the Internet Research Agency — the same notorious troll farm behind the election ads Facebook recently disclosed — ran a contest on Tumblr directing players to find Pokémon near sites of alleged police brutality against African Americans, and name them after the victims. Users were then supposed to email the organization proof of having done so for the chance to win Amazon gift cards.

CNN was not able to find evidence of anyone actually following through with these instructions.

Meanwhile, there were reports last year that Putin was going to ban Pokémon Go because of alleged links to the CIA.

Of course to those who are spreading the bogus claim that Clinton lost to Donald Trump because of Russia, evidence is not actually needed. Peter Daou, who is sort of Hillary Clinton’s Steve Bannon, has set a very low bar: “If one mind was changed, if one voter was turned against Clinton, Russian interference altered the outcome.”

Is the country packed with Russian propagandists? To Daou, opposing Clinton just might make you a Russian propagandists as he recently tweeted, “If you spread the idea that Hillary Clinton is a horrible monster, you were a de facto Russian propagandist.” Yes, if you consider Clinton a monster for all the unnecessary wars she has supported, or for her corruption, you are a de facto Russian propagandists. No disagreement with her views is possible other than being a Russian propagandist.


  1. 1
    Bob says:

    Peter Daou and Verrit exist only to be debunked. Clinton claims she isn’t running again, which her numbers indicate would be wise. Recent polls give her a 57 percent unfavorable rating and 62 percent of Democrats don’t want her to run again in 2020:

    There will likely be a backlash against Trumpism to benefit Democrats, liberals, and the left. The more imminent danger is Republican efforts to cheat their ways back into office.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Clinton probably won't run again, but if they run candidates who don't see anything wrong with Clinton's record and conduct, then we might not be all that much better off. 

    2018 should be a good year for Democrats due to such a backlash, although I wouldn't put it past the Democrats to find a way to blow it. 

  3. 3
    Bob says:

    And, along with voter suppression, etc., the Republicans will try to reproduce whatever psyops successes they think the Russians had, if there were any they haven’t tried already. They will pay in Koch and Mercer dollars and not rubles.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    There is no sign of any successes by the Russians for the Republicans to copy. By creating the Russia hysteria, the Democrats are ignoring what the Republicans have been doing on their own to beat them. For example, it sounds like the Trump campaign out smarted the Democrats on using Facebook by going as far as having Facebook employees embedded in their campaign. The Republicans are out-smarting the Democrats while the Democrats concentrate on making excuses for their repeated losses. 

  5. 5
    Bob says:

    It’s not possible at this time to know the extent of Russian success. That’s what Mueller’s looking into. We do know that Illinois and Arizona’s election systems were breached.

    Harping on blaming Democrats for their every loss is counter-productive. They believe in good government and the other side largely believes in tearing the government down. Clinton was a lousy candidate and conservative like Bill, but would she have been anywhere near as bad as Trump?

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