BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Russia-sponsored influence in American politics over the last few years went beyond Facebook and Twitter, CNN reports.
According to the news agency’s investigation, a Russia-linked campaign called “Don’t Shoot Us” had accounts on Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr, as well. And individuals behind those accounts allegedly attempted to organize at least two real-world events — protests related to the deaths of Philando Castile and Freddie Gray.READ MORE: AAA Worker Killed While Helping Stranded Driver In Prince George's County
The Don’t Shoot Us Tumblr account also promoted a Pokemon Go-based contest in July 2016, directing users of the augmented reality game — which requires players to travel throughout the real world to find and collect Pokemon characters — to do so near scenes of alleged police brutality. Players were also allegedly instructed to name their Pokemon after the victims, and winners were promised Amazon gift cards, though the participation and the results of the contest remain unclear.
Facebook shut down 470 pages and accounts in recent weeks in response to a congressional probe into Russian meddling in last year’s election. The Don’t Shoot Us page was among them, CNN reports.READ MORE: Maryland Up To 9 Monkeypox Cases, Health Department Confirms
Bowing to pressure from lawmakers and the public, Facebook said last month that it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators, while also pledging to make political advertising on its platform more “transparent.”
“I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook video and wrote in an accompanying post . “That’s not what we stand for.”MORE NEWS: Maryland Weather: Muggy With A Chance For Showers & Storms