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More fake news from Facebook, and this time it’s really depressing. It would appear that an imposter Black Lives Matter page is parading around as the real thing, with more than double the likes of the real deal. The fake page was discovered by CNN and has since been shut down. Maybe while he’s testifying on Capitol Hill about the Cambridge Analytica data breach, Zuckerberg can explain this fiasco too.
As Mashable reports, the page is said to be linked to Ian Mackay. The Australian union official reportedly registered a grip of websites related to black civil rights. Even more alarming, Mackay seems to have been able to raise at least $100,000 through his fake BLM Facebook page, and some of those funds seemed to have found their way to Australian bank accounts. Mackay denies having managed the page, despite the fact that the website linked within it was registered under his name.
A blogger named Jeremy Massler published a post about the suspicious page back in December, after having reached out to Mackay personally. However, Massler wasn’t the only person who doubted page’s legitimacy. Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors told CNN that she had alerted Facebook months ago. As Massler explains, “I certainly wasn't the first to notice. The real hurdle seemed to be getting a response (or even an acknowledgment) from Facebook about the issue.”
Cullors points out that fake pages like this undermine the important work BLM is trying to do, as they depend “on donors who believe in our work and our cause and that money will be used in a way that is respectful.” Meanwhile, a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable the company has “developed several techniques to help detect and block inauthentic activity such as this.”