A Facebook page pretending to part of the Black Lives Matter movement was fake and tied to a White man in Australia, a CNN investigation found.
The page, which was called “Black Lives Matter,” had twice as many followers as official Black Lives Matter pages with around 700,000 users following the page.
The page has ties to fundraising campaigns that have earned at least $100,000. A portion going to causes supported by BLM and some money going to Australian banks.
The news comes during a time that Facebook is embroiled in controversy after a data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, was reported to have obtained private information from 87 million Facebook users.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is in Washington DC to testify before Congress over his company’s handling of the breach, apologized to users for their information being compromised.
PayPal, Patreon, Donorbox and Classy suspended their fundraising campaigns with the page, CNN reports.
BLM activists told CNN that they suspected the page was a scam and had contacted the social media giant to remove it.
The investigation revealed that the page was linked to an Ian Mackay, an official from Australia’s National Union of Workers.
The union denied any involvement in the matter and confirmed that Mackay and another worker were suspended pending an investigation.
Websites like blackpowerfist.com and blacklivesmatter.media were linked to Mackay after CNN found registration records that revealed his name phone number and email address. These websites often received traffic from the fraudulent Facebook page, according to the report.
On Monday, Facebook disabled the page after CNN brought the information to the company.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.