In another embarrassing scandal for Facebook, the largest Black Lives Matter page on the site has been exposed as a scam site that gathered thousands in donations but did no advocacy. In fact, the man behind the page was a white guy from Australia, who pocketed all of the funds the page collected.
While Facebook does not appear to have done anything wrong, the incident highlights how the social media site looked the other way on pages that have a left-wing ideology, but cracked down on conservative sites with honest intentions.
The page, which operated under the name “Black Lives Matter” but had an id of “BlackLivesMatter1,” is now shut down. It had about double the number of followers of the real Black Lives Matter page, which was verified by Facebook.
The page was started in 2016 and was only exposed after a CNN investigation revealed the person behind it. Even after CNN revealed the page to be a scam, Facebook seemed to dismiss their findings when confronted by the news channel, and took several days to take the page down.
The most popular Black Lives Matter page on Facebook was a fake being run by a white man from Australia, it has been revealed.
Ian Mackay, a National Union of Workers official in Australia, was forced to resign on Monday after he was exposed and the page taken down.
With almost 700,000 followers, Mackay’s page had double the interest of the official Black Lives Matter presence and raised at least $100,000 in donations.
Users were told those donations were going to fight racial causes in America but at least some of the money was paid into Australian bank accounts instead, an investigation by CNN found.
The page, which used the URL facebook.com/blacklivesmatter1, was administered by a ‘BP Parker and ‘Steve Parks’, which were anonymous profiles both linked to domains owned by Mackay.
The page also raised money for their “cause” using sites like Paypal. Those sites have since shut down the accounts collecting money.
Those administrators encouraged people to donate via Donorbox, PayPal, Patreon, and Classy. Sources told CNN that at least one account on those websites was tied to Mackay by name.
PayPal and Patreon suspended fundraising activities associated with the page after being contacted by CNN, while Donorbox and Classy had already stopped collecting money by that point.
Followers were also sent links to other websites including blackpowerfist.com and blacklivesmatter.media, both of which were registered to Mackay.