Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Russian Election Meddling Extended to Pokemon Go

Niantic is hosting a 'Pokémon Go' AR photography contest Pokemon Go announced a global contest of photography and augmented reality
Velma Reese | 13 October, 2017, 02:05

CNN reported Thursday that the Russian-linked Internet Research Agency created a group called "Don't Shoot Us" to pose as part of the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

The name of the campaign is "Don't Shoot Us", likely a reference to the "hands up, don't shoot" slogan that became a rallying cry of sorts after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson. Similar activities were uncovered on YouTube, and now clearly Tumblr. The contest featured a Pokemon named "Eric Garner" as an example. This led to the discovery that the same groups also spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on Google and YouTube, and maintained some 200 accounts on Twitter.

How huge was the Pokémon Go craze a year ago? The contest invited people to visit sites of police shootings, train the digital Pokémon creatures at those spots, and name their pet creatures in the augmented world after real-world victims of police.

The ultimate goal may have been to use these screenshots to get journalists to write about these in-game protests, but CNN apparently found no evidence that anyone actually took Don't Shoot Us up on the idea.

Ohio boy missing from crime scene believed to be in danger
Authorities say three people have been fatally shot, a fourth person stabbed and an 7-year-old boy is missing in southeast Ohio. The sheriff says deputies spotted Lawson driving around 12:30 a.m., but he ran into woods after a short pursuit in Ironton.

"It's clear from the images shared with us by CNN that our game assets were appropriated and misused in promotions by third parties without our permission", Niantic, the makers of Pokémon Go, said in a statement provided to CNN.

"It is important to note that Pokémon GO, as a platform, was not and can not be used to share information between users in the app so our platform was in no way being used".

Pokémon GO, the popular augmented reality mobile game, recently announced a contest that requires participants to take pictures using the game's augmented reality filter. Read the full CNN investigation here.

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