Facebook is host to a hoax a week, or so it seems. This time, Mark Zuckerberg isn’t donating money for each like or share, you won’t need to copy and paste a status to ban Facebook from using your profile content, and no… for the last time, Facebook isn’t going to start charging users next week.
Instead, pranksters (or well-meaning but misinformed users) are calling on the crowd to check in at Standing Rock, the location of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Checking in, the status reads, will ‘overwhelm and confuse’ law enforcement when trying to track the protesters via social media. Unfortunately, it’s all bullshit.
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The status reads like this, and chances are you’ve seen it at least once or twice today:
Unfortunately, this bit of counter-espionage isn’t really doing any good. It’s not like it’s hurting, but it’s essentially a wash.
As Snopes points out, the statement itself is untrue. Morton County Sheriff’s Department has gone on the record claiming they aren’t monitoring protester’s social media usage, and ‘this claim/rumor is absolutely false.’
The Sioux tribe, on the other hand, claims ‘there is no doubt’ that law enforcement is monitoring social media, but they too think the check-ins are pointless. Instead, they encourage those that want to take action to join their solidarity page, contribute to its legal defense fund, or come up and protest in person.