Kremlin use of real time focus groups to hone reporting of Putin speeches revealed — Novaya Gazeta Europe
NewsSociety

Kremlin use of real time focus groups to hone reporting of Putin speeches revealed

Photo: EPA-EFE/RAMIL SITDIKOV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

Photo: EPA-EFE/RAMIL SITDIKOV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

The Presidential Administration has been using focus groups to monitor people’s reactions in real time to public statements and speeches made by Vladimir Putin, independent outlets Important Stories and Meduza revealed on Tuesday.

Public relations firm Dialog, which is responsible for much of the Kremlin’s disinformation about the war in Ukraine, reportedly runs the focus groups, which are made up of people from diverse age groups and social backgrounds.

Participants watch Putin speeches live via Zoom and use a program which requires them to like or dislike the content in order to “capture spontaneous emotional reactions every five seconds”, according to a leaked document.

These reactions are sent in real time to special regional management centres, allowing them to decide which messages to highlight and what to obscure when reporting on the speech on social media.

Senior Kremlin officials reportedly also receive the results of the focus group testing, though the leaked documents don’t specify what they do with that information, Meduza wrote.

A regional official confirmed the existence of the focus groups to Meduza, but added that if a single group’s participants began to “criticise the president too much”, the focus groups would be quickly disbanded.

pdfshareprint
Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.