The game that became a phenomenon the previous year, Pokemon Go, was the target of Russian agents who were trying to meddle with the 2016 US election
The effort was focused on a campaign named “Don’t Shoot Us”. It was said to be tied to agents in Russia, and it used social media services such as Facebook and Twitter to try and exploit the racial tensions in the US. However, there was one target no one expected: Pokemon Go.
The game challenges you to find and train digital characters that appear on the screen against the landscape picked up by the phone’s camera.
According to a report issued by CNN, the campaign announced a contest on its Tumblr page back in July 2016 for all Pokemon Go players. The contest encouraged players to visit locations where alleged cases of police brutality happened. Moreover, players were asked to give their Pokemon critters the names of people shot by police. As rewards, the campaign offered players Amazon gift cards.
On the other hand, it is not clear what the campaign wanted to accomplish with this contest, though it might have been to upset those living near those places and remind them of the police brutality issues.
The game developer of the fame, Niantic, said that the game itself was not compromised.
“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,” a Niantic spokesman said in a statement. “It is important to note that Pokemon Go, as a platform, was not and cannot be used to share information between users in the app, so our platform was in no way being used. This ‘contest’ required people to take screen shots from their phone and share over other social networks, not within our game.”