Ukrainian agency Nebo and Stagwell’s 72andSunny have teamed up to work with Ukrainian journalists to tell Russian citizens the truth about their country’s so-called “military operation” and are using sites designed for pirated content to spread the message.
Russia legalized content piracy as a way to get back at countries for placing sanctions on it for invading Ukraine.
Nebo saw an opportunity to use this piracy mandate to their advantage by creating “Torrents of Truth,” a campaign to counter misinformation within Russia about the war in Ukraine. The effort is designed to bypass Russian censors by creating material that looks like pirated content.
Teaming up with 72andSunny Amsterdam, the Torrents
of Truth campaign disguises content from eyewitnesses and news reports about the war in Ukraine as pirated blockbuster movies, popular TV series, software or music. The files are uploaded to Russian
pirate sites using a process called torrenting – a kind of file sharing.
Starting today Russians will be unknowingly downloading messages from Ukrainian journalists from popular torrent websites like iDope, as well as new fake tracker websites.
The goal is that hopefully more Russians will realize what is really happening in Ukraine and begin to protest at home
against the invasion which the rest of the world views as a criminal act.
The agencies hope that consumers in the west will help send the torrents viral. A “good” torrent is one where the number of seeders is high. The higher the seed rate, the healthier the torrent. Those who download a Torrents of Truth film from the West, will be helping the campaign by validating the file and increasing the probability of it being downloaded by Russians. As the agencies say, “Every download matters.”
The campaign includes a website with more details.