A group linked to Russia allegedly used Pokemon Go to stir up trouble last year in the United States.
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 purpose of the group was allegedly to sow divisive messages in order to both spur African Americans to protest and to paint black activism as a rising threat.
While CNN's report is pretty explosive on its own, one of the tactics the group used has really caught the attention of the Internet. According to the report, "Don't Shoot Us" attempted to use Pokemon Go in one of its campaigns to stir unrest while the popular game was at its peak.
CNN claims that the group encouraged players to name their Pokemon after victims of police brutality and then place that Pokemon in a gym near where the incident occurred. If Pokemon Go players completed those two tasks, they could send a screenshot to an email in return for supposed prizes, including Amazon gift cards.
Even CNN is a bit baffled by what the prize hoped to accomplish, but they theorized that it was to remind people living in certain areas that alleged police brutality had occurred nearby in the hopes of angering them and spurring them to protest.
On the plus side, CNN couldn't find any evidence that anyone actually entered the contest, so maybe Pokemon Go players are a little smarter than the public thinks...when they're not running into traffic or crashing their cars to catch Pokemon, that is.
Oh, the Memes
Of course, the memes started as soon as the story hit the Internet. After all, how often do you get a story that combines current events, political intrigue, a dated fad from last summer, and Pokemon? Here's some of the funniest reactions we saw:
So Russia used Pokemon Go to meddle in our election, and we ended up with Gumshoos as president. pic.twitter.com/hW0ZLixpml— The Incredible Sulk (@TurnUp_TheTweet) October 12, 2017
In hindsight, it was pretty obvious which Pikachu mole that the Russians were using to influence our election through Pokemon Go. pic.twitter.com/TeR18JfBuD— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 12, 2017