Largest Black Lives Matter page on Facebook reportedly a scam
While Mark Zuckerberg is being grilled by Congress on issues related to Facebook sharing data with Cambridge Analytica, and the infiltration of the social media giant by Russian trolls, reports began to surface that one of the biggest Black Lives Matter profiles on the platform is actually a fake.
According to The Root, a CNN investigation found the page is not the official Black Lives Matter page, but it still managed to amass 700,000 followers, which is more than double the count of the official. In addition, this imposter page had been raising funds that were represented as fundraisers that would go towards various Black Lives Matter causes around the country.
Those fundraisers made at least $100,000. What’s more, some of that money was actually transferred to an Austrailian bank account.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors told CNN that her organization had contacted Facebook some months prior and requested that they remove the page, but Facebook took no action. Facebook admits that the page was only suspended after one of its admins was suspended.
The same people who ran this page also ran another group page called “Black Lives Matter.” Boasting 40,000 members, it is the biggest group page on Facebook purporting to support Black Lives Matter. This page often linked to websites connected to Ian MacKay, a National Union of Workers official in Australia.
MacKay has also registered domain names which sound or appear at first glance to be connected with Black issues, such as blackpowerfist.com and blacklivesmatter.media. CNN reached out to MacKay and he denied running the fraudulent Black Lives Matter page, saying that he had only bought the domain that had been linked by the page once and then sold it.
A few hours after CNN contacted MacKay, the fraudulent Black Lives Matter page had been taken down. Hopefully, this series of events becomes part Facebook’s growing list of issues it must answer to as Congress continues to grill Zuckerberg in hearings.