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Russia probing use of fidget spinners as opposition goodies

| Thursday, July 20, 2017, 10:18 a.m.
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 them to attract supporters. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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 them to attract supporters. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Fidget spinners are on sale at a small shop in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Russian authorities are investigating fidget spinners after state television reported that opposition activists are using them to attract supporters. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Fidget spinners are on sale at a small shop in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Russian authorities are investigating fidget spinners after state television reported that opposition activists are using them to attract supporters. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

MOSCOW — Russian authorities are investigating fidget spinners after state television reported that opposition activists are using them to attract supporters.

State-owned Rossiya 24 put out a report last month, claiming the popular toys were sold at opposition rallies and that online advertisements for them lead to YouTube channels promoting opposition politicians.

Fidget spinners — toys usually made of metal designed to keep small hands occupied — have taken the world by storm in recent months.

Russia's consumer watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday that it is concerned about “an aggressive promotion of spinners” among children and teenagers. The Consumer Oversight Agency said it has teamed up with researchers to “study the influence” of fidget spinners on children's wellbeing.

Pending the investigation the watchdog issued tips for parents who do buy fidget spinners for their children, including a recommendation to purchase them only from licensed sellers and check them for broken parts.

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