Nebo, a Kyiv-based creative agency, has created an undercover cyber initiative called Torrents of Truth to counter misinformation within Russia about the war in Ukraine and bypass Russian censors.
For the many Russians who get their news from state media, the invasion of Ukraine is no more than a "special military operation." Misinformation and propaganda are endemic and punishments for anyone going against Kremlin disinformation range from fines of $45,000 to up to 15 years in prison.
The Torrents of Truth campaign, made with support from global advertising agency 72andSunny, involves disguising eye-witness content and news reports about the war in Ukraine as pirated blockbuster movies, popular TV series, software and music. The reports are then uploaded to Russian pirate sites via torrenting - these same files are then downloaded by Russians looking to access pirated Western content.
The approach takes advantage of the already high levels of content pirating in Russia and follows moves last month by the Kremlin to encourage Russians to pirate the products and services of companies based in countries currently supporting anti-Russia sanctions.
The truth about the war is relayed in videos embedded in the entertainment content presented in Russian by Ukrainian journalists, who give harrowing personal accounts of the brutal reality of the Russian invasion of their country, interspersed with footage of the war.
When a Russian internet user downloads a file and clicks on it to play, they will be told: “This isn’t what you expected to see. But this is something that you should see. The truth.”
A powerful compilation of TV news from around the world about the war will then follow, ending with the call to action: “Keep spreading this torrent to keep spreading the truth. Find out more in the ReadMe.txt file. torrentsoftruth.org.”
This professional campaign titled 'Torrents of Truth' was published in Ukraine in June, 2022. It was created for the brand: Ukraine, by ad agencies: 72andSunny and NEBO Ideas Agency. This Experiential and Integrated media campaign is related to the Public Interest, NGO industry and contains 2 media assets. It was submitted 8 months ago.