The Very Best Russian Propaganda Facebook Ads in the Run-Up to the 2016 Presidential Election

Sunday afternoon I made a move I thought was saavy, but, instantly had regrets about. I went over to the House Intelligence Committee release by the Democrats on Social Media Advertisements by our comrades the Soviets. I wanted to take a peek at their ads. Look, I am a big Fyodor Dostoevsky guy, so, I thought, maybe there is some wisdom that will be gleaned from these ads.

First warning sign that this was a bad idea…the file sizes. 1.6GB for a zip of ads from Quarter 4 of 2016. And, they were using all four quarters of multiple years. Nevertheless, I downloaded it for some reason. The first ad I looked at, very promising, if you’re into ads where you aren’t quite sure whether they are a parody of Texas or genuinely trying to appeal to Texas (and also if you’re a big fan of non-witty Hillary Clinton insults where the author really wants that woman to die).

Russian-Ad-5

Honestly, it’s just impressive to mix a Killery and a Hitlery into the same ad without getting the audience to roll their eyes. And, well, the audience likely rolled their eyes at this one. BUT…nonetheless, I figured, this ad would set the tone for a jaunt through a ton of PDF files that the House Intelligence Committee had prepared. There were hundreds just from October and November 2016.

And, they were largely a disappointment.

Say what you will about the Russians, but, they are not very creative when it comes to the ol’ propaganda machine. The way that folks talked about the Soviets here, I thought there would be some impressive ads that would make me really reflect on my ideals and beliefs. At times, questioning those same beliefs. There was none of that. A whole lot of Pan-Africa support, though.

Russia on the whole should add this to the list of their recent embarrassments. I’m stretching the depth of my current-Russia knowledge to put this together, but this is what I’ve got for Russian embarrassments:

  • These ads
  • Lack of Snow at Sochi Olympics.

This one is on me. I should have called an audible and took a nice little Sunday afternoon nap. Maybe called my mother to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. Anything other than spending the next 30 minutes sifting through these ads. I did learn, on the bright side, that the Russians are very big on the black community supporting black business. Which I don’t know, does not seem like it would sway an election, but, is a pretty good sentiment?

Anyway, I have compiled this list of the Very Best of the Russian Propaganda ads that they ran on Facebook in October and November 2016…just so you don’t have to look through 50 pdfs of some stupid “BACK THE BADGE” image the Russians hyped.

RA-8

This is my dude. I don’t know why, but, I really dug this dog. This was probably the only thing the Russians did that would make me consider hitting the Like button. I want to spend a weekend in Memopolis.

RA-1

So, the Russians aired this one out multiple times. They were big on “supporting” Black Lives Matter. Articles about all police shootings in this time period were given a lot of Rubles behind them.

There was also this:

RA-6

Which, honestly, I just enjoyed for the name, “Black guns matter.” Like, to hell with your nickel plated handguns, man.

There was also Williams & Kalvin…I did not screenshot any of the ads for this particular YouTube duo. They were rather dull. But, the Russians put in serious work to hype these guys up. Black people bashing Hillary was all the rage during the election and the Russians worked to fuel that. Again, no comment on their success, but, the effort was there. And, credit those two for cashing in. I don’t know what the Russians paid, but, the internet content game is not easy to cash in on and they pulled it off. Congrats.

RA-4

You know, I originally thought this was a statement about how Melania Trump married her way into status and therefore did not care about what antics Trump did because she was now a Melaninaire. Which I thought was rather clever of the Russians. But, then, the side of my brain that thinks things through realized that this was a reference to melanin and black pride. Still, I’m running with the Melania idea in my head.

RA-7

This is just good, wholesome promotion of a documentary on Maya Angelou. Someone explain to me how this would affect the outcome of the election?! Please.

RA-3

Now, see, this is the kind of thing I expected from the Russians. Foundation into Fraudation. Clown nose on Hillary. Surprised there were only 517 likes on the page. Could you imagine being the poor Russian guy who was smashing out like a dozen ads for Maya Angelou and then he finally gets to cut loose and really try to dig in with an embarrassing moment for Hillary Clinton and you only drum up less than a thousand likes? They’re spending tons of roubles on this, man.

So, anyway, that Russian died. Clearly this ad was not demeaning enough.

RA-10

This is one of those classic gun rights quotes that gun folks think is brilliant. But, a couple of things. One, thank you for using “if”…does that mean we agree there should be less guns around? Two, obviously we can’t agree on point one, and, all the gun folks want there to be more guns and for everyone to have guns, so, following that logic, does this mean that they want to also control the gun that the guy standing next to them also has?

Probably. So, my new gun control plan is that if you’re carrying a gun, you immediately have to start wrestling the next guy you see who has a gun until only one person remains with a gun(s). Then, we continually do this until we ultimately have one guy in America who has ALL of the guns.

RA-5

Shout out to this Doctor. WOW.

RA-2

And, there it is. The Russia plan complete. Because of this one account that garnered 517 reactions (second time 517 has come up here for you conspiracy folks to run wild with) and told folks to trust them and vote for Jill Stein…Donald Trump is President. Just an amazing run by Russia. Annoying ads all the way, then they reel you in and next thing you know you punched the ticket for Jill Stein.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Believe me, we saved the best for last.

RA-9

RIP to my man beggie.

Everyone says the Russians were trying to sow discord among Americans. And, every ad they did seemed to really do that. Except…this one did not. See, in case you are not looking close, that is Tupac painting Biggie. Biggie is painting Pac.

I guess, what I am trying to say, is that if I can change. And, you can change. Everybody can change!

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