Are Fidget Spinners a Plot Against Russian Government?
Probably not, but don't tell state-run media that
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2017 7:04 PM CDT
Updated Jul 22, 2017 2:15 PM CDT
A boy plays with a fidget spinner in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Russian authorities are investigating fidget spinners after state television reported that opposition activists are using...   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

(Newser) – Fidget spinners are the hot new children's toy this year—but maybe they're also an American plot to topple the Russian government? "Those who understand political technologies, they understand very clearly that this simple thing is controlling the masses," the New York Times quotes the editor in chief of PolitRussia.ru as saying. Multiple reports about the dangers of fidget spinners have been appearing on Russian state-run media in recent weeks. It started with Rossiya 24 claiming opposition politicians were using them to gain the support of young Russians. An opposition leader was seen playing with a fidget spinner in court, and the toys were being sold at an opposition protest, the Telegraph reports. A reporter for Rossiya 24 said fidget spinners make it "easy to divert attention from the real problems."

But the fidget spinner phenomena could be even more insidious than that. Commentators on Rossiya 24 said the toys might be an attempt to "zombify people" in Russia and make them open to manipulation. Newsweek reports commentators went on to claim users of fidget spinners could experience a form of "hypnosis." They added that playing with the toy "dulls" the mind and "takes you to a different place." A Rossiya 24 reporter pointed out that the package of a fidget spinner purchased in Moscow bore only English writing. Russia's consumer protection agency is now investigating the toys and encourages parents to supervise children using fidget spinners.

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