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Fake Black Lives Matter Facebook page had links to white Aussie

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 4/10/2018 DAVID BOROFF

A fake Black Lives Matter Facebook page that had nearly 700,000 followers — more than twice as many as the official page — had connections to a white man in Australia, according to CNN.

The faux page existed for more than a year and had raised at least $100,000, some of which was transferred to Australian bank accounts, the cable news network reported Monday following an investigation.

A Black Lives Matter page on Facebook with 700,000 followers was taken down after it was found to be fake. © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images A Black Lives Matter page on Facebook with 700,000 followers was taken down after it was found to be fake.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Daily News in an email on Tuesday that "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."

The spokesperson added that "we continue to look into the situation and will take the necessary action in line with our policies."

Online fund-raising platforms had already cut ties with the page.

"This is an organization that we banned months ago," the crowdfunding website DonorBox told CNN. "They signed up as the operator of a popular FB page and a BLM social news platform. We banned the account after a couple of donors complained that they thought they donated to the grassroots organization."

CNN found that the Black Lives Matter page was closely connected to websites run by a union official in Australia. The official, Ian Mackay, apparently registered the website "blackpowerfist.com."

Mackay denied running the fake Black Lives Matter website, telling CNN, "I once bought the domain name only and sold it."

He added to CNN that "my domain name buying and selling is a personal hobby."

Facebook announced a series of major changes on Friday, including a new verification process for managers of pages with a large user base.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said anyone who seeks to purchase a political or "issue ad" on the social network will need to verify who they are and where they are from. He said this was to ensure fairer elections around the world.

"With important elections coming up in the US, Mexico, Brazil, India, Pakistan and more countries in the next year, one of my top priorities for 2018 is making sure we support positive discourse and prevent interference in these elections," he wrote. "To get verified, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location. Any advertiser who doesn’t pass will be prohibited from running political or issue ads."

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