Tinder and Google Maps are now used by several activists around the world to inform Russians about the situation in Ukraine. While the government of Vladimir Putin is deploying mass propaganda to obtain the approval of its population, Internet users are directly addressing a few individuals to expose them to the lies of the authorities.
If the whole world seems gang up on russia following the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian people are overwhelmingly in favor of the actions of their government. According to a recent survey, they would indeed be 70% to support the current military operation, although this figure is still relatively unclear. However, most Russians do not harbor a particular hatred towards Ukraine. To obtain this score, Vladimir Putin usesintense propaganda and multiple language elements.
Among them, we find among others the best known: rather than speaking clearly of war, the Russian president prefers to mention a “ military operation since the attacks began. Added to this are multiple images broadcast via the national media of soldiers coming to the aid of Ukrainian civilians, rather than bombing them. Many even go so far as to say that the videos depicting the violence of the conflicts are fake. Gold, an uprising of the Russian populationwould go a long way towards ending the conflict.
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Fighting Russian disinformation with Tinder
An idea that has visibly gained in popularity and is now growing ordinary netizens to take action against Russia. For that, there is no need to join Anonymous and even less to take up arms: it is on Tinder that these new kind of activists carry out their own operations. René is one of them. This 34-year-old German decided to change the location of his account to engage in conversation with women living in Moscow. When he gets a match, it’s not a date he’s looking for.
“I had a conversation with a girl who said that [l’invasion] is just a military operation and the Ukrainians are killing their own people and things like that, so I debated with her”, he explains. Very often, unfortunately, René hits a wall. Some Russians refuse to hear that their government is lying to them and prefer to cut the discussion short. Corn others are more receptive. On several occasions, René obtained hesitant thanks from his contacts.
In addition to the mistrust of the Russians, René and his accomplices have to deal with the rules of Tinder. Only 4 days after starting his activity, Osterloh, another Internet user committed to the fight against disinformation, saw his account permanently banned. He then contacted the support of the application, arguing that his actions were committed in support of Ukraine, but has not yet received any response from the latter.
Google Maps comments to inform the Russian population
On February 28, a user calling himself @Konrad03249040 shared another idea on Twitter. Nothing could be simpler: you have to go to Google Maps, find a popular café or restaurant in a big city and leave a comment informing other users about the situation in Ukraine . “I am not a hacker, but I do what I can do”he then added.
After it was shared by a member of Anonymous, this tweet met with some success and several Twitter members answered the call. Unfortunately, again, the latter did not obtain support from the platform. In effect,Google has temporarily blocked comments from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, explaining that his site was not designed to be a source of information on the ongoing war.
Despite everything, they are still numerous to continue their actions. They invade every social network in the hope of reaching a few people in Russia to expose the truth to them. Russia seems to be well aware of this since pSeveral platforms are now inaccessiblein the country. After Facebook, it was Instagram that suffered the wrath of the government, making it more difficult to make contact. Others, like YouTube, decide to act directly by removing any content resembling propaganda.
Source : Wired