UNITED STATES OF AUSTRALIA — Apparently, Black Lives Matter has been warning people that certain pages weren’t legit. One of them just happened to have the most followers on Facebook…and had nothing to do with the actual organization.
— DeadWood: Crisis Actor, LLC (@BlogWood) April 11, 2018
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According to Miami Herald, Facebook recently shut down what seemed to be one of the biggest Black Lives Matter pages on social media. The source says it had over 700,000 followers — twice the number of the organization’s official page — not to mention, had collected at least $100,000 in related online fundraising.
The source reports that it was a fake page run by a white union official from Australia. After finding out this information during the investigation, Facebook suspended the page — also its fundraising efforts have been put on hold by PayPal, Patreon, Donorbox, and Classy.
Reportedly, the fake page was set up in 2016 and was administered by Ian Mackay. The Miami Herald states that Mackay is a National Union of Workers official in Australia — absolutely no relationship with Black Lives Matter.
The source also mentions that some of the money raised in affiliation with the page — allegedly raised for BLM causes in the United States — actually went to Australian bank accounts instead.
Of course, Mackay denied running the Facebook page, according to the source. Yet, CNN mentioned that Mackay has registered dozens of websites with names related to black-rights issues.
However, Mackay says he purchased and then resold a Black Lives Matter website once registered in his name.
Well, so far, Australian union of which the man is a member has suspended Mackay, along with another worker as it investigates the reported allegations. The union mentioned as follows.
“The NUW is not involved in and has not [authorized] any activities with reference to claims made in CNN’s story.”
And on Monday, she posted to Twitter regarding the page — noting that it had been taken down on that platform.
“Last month we demanded @Twitter to take down the fake twitter BLM account. This month the fake BLM Facebook account was shut down. It’s so unfortunate folks were scammed by fake BLM accounts and people.”
Likewise, Black Lives Matter about the fake pages as well.
“We deal with the co-option of our work locally, nationally, and globally. It is important that platforms like @facebook and @Twitter do their due diligence so supporters aren’t misled and resources aren’t misappropriated.”
According to Guardian, a Facebook spokesman stated: “We investigated this situation as soon as it was brought to our attention, and disabled the page admin for maintaining multiple profiles on the platform.”
“We continue to look into the situation and will take the necessary action in line with our policies,” the spokesperson continued.
Interestingly enough, Mackay became vice president of the National Union of Workers’ general branch in 2015. Until his suspension, public records indicated he still held that position, according to Guardian.
It reports: “The union, one of the most powerful in Australia, represents workers in a variety of industries across the nation.”
All in all, this is just a sickening situation. However, this goes to show there are several people with little to no moral upstanding — those simply waiting to cash in on vulnerable, sensitive situations.
We’d love to know your thoughts about this Australian conman. If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
[Featured Photo via Twitter]