Facebook ‘Black Lives Matter’ Page Was a Scam

For at least a year, the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam with ties to a middle-aged white man in Australia, CNN reports. The page, titled simply “Black Lives Matter,” had almost 700,000 followers on Facebook, more than twice as many as the official Black Lives Matter page.

For at least a year, the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam with ties to a middle-aged white man in Australia, a review of the page and associated accounts and websites conducted by CNN shows. The page, titled simply “Black Lives Matter,” had almost 700,000 followers on Facebook, more than twice as many as the official Black Lives Matter page. It was tied to online fundraisers that brought in at least $100,000 that supposedly went to Black Lives Matter causes in the U.S. At least some of the money, was transferred to Australian bank accounts.

Fundraising campaigns associated with the Facebook page were suspended by PayPal and Patreon after CNN contacted each of the companies for comment. Donorbox and Classy had already removed the campaigns. The discovery raises new questions about the integrity of Facebook’s platform and the content hosted there. In the run-up to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress this week, Facebook announced plans to make the people running large pages verify their identity and location. It’s not clear that the change would affect this page: Facebook has not said what information about page owners it will disclose to the public. Facebook initially said the page didn’t violate its “Community Standards.” After almost a week of emails and calls between CNN and Facebook, Facebook suspended the page, and then only because it had suspended a user account that administered the page. Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, said Black Lives Matter had, suspecting the page was a scam, contacted Facebook about removing it a few months ago.

from https://thecrimereport.org