Black lives matter, News, Video -

How White man ran biggest Black Lives Matter Facebook page

Black lives matter, News, Video -

How White man ran biggest Black Lives Matter Facebook page

The largest Black Lives Matter group on Facebook isn’t actually associated with the movement but was started by a white man in Australia who used it to rake in cash for himself.

CNN reported Monday that the page, called “Black Lives Matter,” had almost 700,000 followers and drew in over $100,000 in donations, some of which reportedly found its way to an Australian bank.

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Since the fraud was discovered, Facebook has suspended the page, and PayPal, Patreon, Donorbox and Classy have stopped working with the page.

Ian Mackay, an official with the National Union of Workers in Australia, was reportedly found to be tied to the page and has been suspended from his job while the union conducts its own investigation.

“The NUW is not involved in, and has not authorized, any activities with reference to claims made in CNN’s story,” said union national secretary Tim Kennedy.

Mackay has used Black Lives Matter and other social justice issues to set up several other websites, according to CNN. For example, he reportedly set up the website in April 2015 using his own name and email address.

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But this kind of scam, Black Lives Matter activists said, was sadly made possible simply by the nature of the movement.

“It’s important to remember the movement was organic and no organizations started the protests that spread across the country,” activist DeRay McKesson said. “The consequences of that is it hasn’t been easy to think about authenticity in the digital space.”

What’s more, Black Lives Matter leaders worry that this kind of scam will hurt the legitimacy of the movement itself as well as its relationship with the community.

“We rely on donors who believe in our work and our cause and that [the] money will be used in a way that is respectful,” said co-founder Patrisse Cullors.

The post How White man ran biggest Black Lives Matter Facebook page appeared first on theGrio.

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