Largest Black Lives Matter page on Facebook was a scam: report

Largest Black Lives Matter page on Facebook was a scam: report
© Greg Nash

The largest pro-Black Lives Matter page on Facebook was actually a scam tied to a white man in Australia, CNN reported on Monday.

The page had accrued 700,000 Facebook followers — almost double the amount of the official Black Lives Matter Facebook page — and is linked to several online fundraisers which garnered $100,000 in donations, according to CNN. At least some of the money was reportedly transferred to Australian bank accounts.

CNN reported that Facebook only deleted the page a week after the news outlet reported it to the company.

Facebook said that it's working on new tools to detect fake accounts when asked for comment. 

We’ve developed several techniques to help detect and block inauthentic activity. When people report impersonators using our built-in reporting flows, our teams review each one and take the appropriate action," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "Just last week, Facebook introduced new machine learning techniques to detect and action more than a half-million accounts related to fraudulent activity.”

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Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, told CNN that her group had contacted Facebook months ago about the page's removal, after suspecting it was a scam.

The page’s organizers ran a separate group, also called Black Lives Matter, which had another 40,000 members, according to CNN.

The page linked to websites tied to Ian Mackay, a National Union of Workers official in Australia, who did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

The actual Black Lives Matter page has a blue checkmark, indicating that Facebook has verified the page as legitimate.

Facebook has faced a slew of questions concerning the integrity of its hosted content in the wake of President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE's election. The issue had previously come to light following revelations of Russian manipulation on the platform during the 2016 presidential race.

A Russian group called the Internet Research Agency, which posed as an American group, set up immensely popular Facebook pages like BlackMattersUS and Heart Of Texas. The pages were ultimately removed during Facebook's sweep of Kremlin-linked accounts and pages.

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergEx-Facebook data scientist to testify before British lawmakers A defense for Facebook and global free speech Senate Democrat calls on Facebook to preserve documents related to whistleblower testimony MORE is set to testify before lawmakers this will week. They are expected to press him on the manipulation of his platform for nefarious purposes.