Activists have been employing novel, inventive, and old-school strategies to get Ukraine facts past the Russian’s propaganda block since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Propaganda, according to experts, has long been a foundation of any conflict. Regulating the narrative is often considered critical in generating public support, from explosives showering pamphlets on enemy soldiers to censorship at home. Putin’s iron control on information regarding Russia’s conflict in Ukraine is under fire on several fronts, including social media whack-a-mole games to telemarketing drives, Telegram videos, and so more.
Ukrainian firms are using their own applications to inform Russians about what’s happening. While such attempts have had varied results, they show the creativity required to win the propaganda war, which is as old as combat itself.
Introduction to secret code generation and blockchain technology
The issue was how to direct consumers to those mirrored webpages. The idea developed to address this issue was – what if they could get news over Russian censors by concealing articles that individuals could open with a secret code? And what if the unique code was created by Russia itself, using the lottery commission winning lottery numbers?
The group could use the new figures to establish a new website link each time they were uploaded. Anyone looking up such figures on Twitter or other social media sites would find a link to the restricted website as well as restricted news. They replicated the webpage of Meduza, an independent Russia-focused media organization that the Russian authorities designated as a foreign agent in April 2021.
According to a Forbes report, since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, traffic to the lottery-numbered website has become so intense that the organization has had to purchase more server space and upgrade the site. RSF and DDB are also experimenting with ways to leverage blockchain techniques to develop war-related articles and photographs, and expect to have more sites up and running in the days ahead.
In an effort to help stop the war in Ukraine, a Lithuanian-led electronic information operation has been started to engage Russian diaspora participants with up to 40 million contact information in Russia.
Numerous western news organizations are now banned in Russia, and the government has enacted new legislation that punishes the spread of “false news” about the conflict with a 15-year prison sentence.
As a response, many Russians are unable to obtain independent information about the war, and instead rely on state-run television networks to keep them informed. The war is referred to as a “special military campaign” by Russian television, which portrays the battle as required to “establish peace” in Ukraine.
“Bypassing Putin’s lies and bringing reality to the Russians,” the Call Russia effort said in a statement. “These are folks who’ve been misled for years of what’s happening in Ukraine now,” the group claimed in a statement on its website. It is our role and obligation to communicate with them. “
As per the developers, the dataset of Russian contact information was assembled by a team of technical, advertising, and communications specialists.
“While Putin pours misery on Ukraine and blacks down sources of information that could uncover his lies, #CallRussia will personally link Russians and volunteers for the most crucial talks of their lives,” said Paulius Senuta, one of the Call Russia organizers in Vilnius. Lithuania.
‘Make the most important call of your life’
The campaign seeks to cold call 40 million Russian contact numbers. The group compiled a list of publicly accessible contact information in Russia and built a system that selects a phone number at random from the collection. A person can call via phone, Telegram, or WhatsApp, and then at the end of the call, a site pop-up asking if they got through and, if so, how well the call went.
The concept is founded on Senta’s view that if Russians have access to free information and comprehend the human misery in Ukraine, they can bring the end to the war.
Senta told CNN, “There is a great deal of support for this (war).” “But the irony is that they are completely unaware of the conflict. They have no idea that thousands of individuals have been killed, that bombs have been thrown, that children have been killed, that women have given birth in meters – they have no idea . ”
Senta’s team of roughly 30 individuals developed a script to guide the calls with the assistance of psychologists. They didn’t want to risk a fight, so they decided to “convey this human misery and the idea that they are unaware of it.”
Thousands of volunteers made 84,000 phone calls in just one week since the launch of the CallRussia initiative, according to reports.
Other unique initiatives
Activists have devised new methods for delivering truth bombs about the war into Russia. A crowdfunding effort in the United Kingdom gathered £ 40,000 to target Russians with digital adverts including genuine conflict news. (Organizers claim 57 million commercials were distributed before even being stopped in Russia earlier this week.)
Hackers have also organized local efforts: the Anonymous hacker collective has invited participants to rate Russian restaurants and stores on Google Maps and post ratings indicating what is going on in Ukraine. Meanwhile, a group called Squad303 created a web platform that allows individuals to send Russians messages, WhatsApp texts, and emails automatically.
Experts believe old-school techniques are used in the most effective techniques. Since the beginning of the conflict, the usage of virtual private networks, or VPNs, has exploded in Moscow.
This explains why the country’s telecommunications regulator ordered Google to remove thousands of URLs linked to VPN sites from its search results, according to experts.
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