Spilnota Detector Media
Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Tactics and tools How Russian propaganda uses “pass it on” tactics

“Pass it on” is a conventional name for propaganda tactics. Russian propaganda formulates a message that evokes a sharp emotional reaction and calls for it to be spread as much as possible. Basically, the purpose of the message is to cause panic or destabilize the situation.

For example, Russian propaganda uses this tactic to spread fakes about the lack of blood. Reports say that there seems to be a shortage of blood both in clinics and in hospitals. Despite the fact that the Ministry of Health has repeatedly denied this information, reports of a lack of blood are always very actively spread on social networks. The goal is to destabilize the work of blood centers, because an unplanned influx of people who want to help increases the load on the system. Propagandists also seek to create emotional pressure on Ukrainians. Like, the state does not cope well with its tasks in a critical situation, so people suffer.

A message like “Attention!!! For tomorrow, Russia is planning a massive shelling of Ukraine. Rocket strikes will be on Kyiv, Dnipro, Odesa, Lviv ... Pass these coordinates on to your relatives. Perhaps, this will save someone's life” was massively distributed in various instant messengers and channels in the spring of 2022. Especially active such sharing happened on the eve of holidays or important events. The goal is to make Ukrainians nervous, increase stress, influence panic under the guise of “care and concern”. In reality, it is quite difficult to foresee Russian shelling.

What one should pay attention to:

source of information is named abstractly (military, acquaintances, friends of friends) or it is the one with very limited access (information from the Ministry of internal affairs, defense, Main intelligence directorate, etc.), it indicates manipulation;

checking information: for the most part, people in an emotionally excited state immediately share what they have written. However, checking the information is often simple. For example, the coordinates of objects that will supposedly be hit can be checked through a search engine (sometimes even the coordinates of Russian cities were distributed). Information about the lack of blood can be checked by giving a call to the institution mentioned in the message.

In fact, with the development of social media, messages like “Pass it on as there will be trouble”, “Pass it on as there will be no love”, “Pass it on and you will be happy” have become very popular. In fact, they were used to study emotional triggers for further use. Also, unscrupulous advertisers and scammers picked up the tactic and still use it.

NGO “Detector Media” has been working for our readers for over 20 years. In times of elections, revolutions, pandemics and war, we continue to fight for quality journalism. Our experts develop media literacy of the audience, advocate for the rights of journalists, and refute Russian disinformation.

“Detector Media” resumes the work of our Community and invites those who believe that the media should be better: more professional, truthful and transparent.