Through a bit of cyber probing, an investigation deemed the largest Black Lives Matter Facebook page to be a hoax, CNN reports. The page had a following of 700,000, which accounted for more people than the Official Black Lives Matter page. Additionally, the page was also tied to fundraising banners in conjunction with money transfer sites like PayPal, and Donorbox. Since CNN reached out for comment, the pages have suspended their accounts with the faux BLM profile.
The page, which was initially administered by a white Australian man, has reportedly been active since 2016. The group of Australian men who control its content also have another group called “Black Lives Matter” with a following of 40,000, and it marks the biggest group on the site that supports the cause.
Since the discovery, eyebrows everywhere are being raised regarding Facebook’s negligent vetting process when it comes to fake profiles. The majority say more investigation is required when pages like these are made; in efforts to track down imposters and disingenuine allies.
“It’s important to remember the movement was organic and no organizations started the protests that spread across the country,” activist DeRay Mckesson told CNN. “The consequences of that is it hasn’t been easy to think about authenticity in the digital space.”
The group’s message on Donorbox expanded on the notion of condemning any acts of racism. “Our mission is to raise awareness about racism, bigotry, police brutality and hate crimes by exposing through social media locally and internationally stories that mainstream media don’t,” reads their statement.
A representative from Donorbox told CNN, “This is an organization that we banned months ago. They signed up as the operator of a popular FB page and a BLM social news platform…We banned the account after a couple of donors complained that they thought they donated to the grassroots organization.”
A source from Australia told the news site that they raised up to $100,000, and the fundraisers were indeed linked to its creators.