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Niantic founder and CEO, and creator of Pokemon Go, John Hanke. Photo: Manu Fernandez / AP

A campaign with links to Russia, named "Don't Shoot Us," attempted to "exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans" by using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and even Pokémon Go, according to a CNN report.

Why it matters, per Axios' Sara Fischer: Russia ran a disinformation campaign that was intentionally hard to track. As new evidence emerges of the Russians' paid and organic digital media tactics, we're starting to see that Russian operatives intentionally used various small, segregated campaigns across many automated platforms that often aren't monitored by people — making it harder to get caught in the moment, if at all.

What happened: The Don't Shoot Us website linked to a Tumblr page, at which a Pokémon Go contest was being promoted. Participants were encouraged to play the game "near locations where alleged incidents of police brutality had taken place." CNN reports this could have been a way to "upset or anger" people who lived close to those areas, although the motive is unclear.

Niantic, the company that made Pokémon Go, said the platform itself was not used, but rather users took screenshots of the game on their phone and shared them over other social media platforms: "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."

Go deeper: Read CNN's full report.

Go deeper

55 mins ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Report: China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few year's lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Americans agree about more issues than they realize

Data: Populace Inc.; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Many Americans assume the rest of the country doesn't share their political and policy priorities — but they're often wrong, according to new polling by Populace, first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The polling reveals that despite growing political polarization, Americans share similar long-term goals and priorities for the country.