Why are people checking in at Standing Rock on Facebook

People across Facebook are checking in to Standing Rock

  • The idea behind the campaign is to confuse law enforcement

  • The post began making the rounds early Sunday morning

  • Morton County Sheriff’s Department deny using the Facebook feature to keep an eye on people

A viral Facebook post is encouraging people to check into Standing Rock on Facebook to confuse law enforcement agencies that may be using the social media platform to keep track of the water protectors.

It is no secret that Facebook and Twitter have become powerful tools to get real information to the public. However, that is a double-edged sword. Law enforcement agencies have adapted to the world of social media and use it to watch situations such as Ferguson, Baltimore, and Standing Rock.

Slacktivism at its finest

The viral act of ‘slacktivism’ give people that are not able to physically be in Standing Rock a chance to help those who are. The post reads as follows.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has been using Facebook check-ins to find out who is at Standing Rock in order to target them in attempts to disrupt the prayer camps. SO Water Protectors are calling on EVERYONE to check-in at Standing Rock, ND to overwhelm and confuse them. This is concrete action that can protect people putting their bodies and well-beings on the line that we can do without leaving our homes. Will you join me in Standing Rock?

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has become one of the biggest jokes on Facebook. Every post they make is answered by thousands of comments against the over-militarized police force.

In one of their brightest moments on social media yet, Morton County Sheriff’s Department went to their Facebook page to clear up “rumors” that the agency uses Facebook as a tool for the situation in Standing Rock.

In response to the latest rumor / false claim circulating on social media we have the following response:
The Morton County Sheriff’s Department is not and does not follow Facebook check-ins for the protest camp or any location. This claim / rumor is absolutely false.

The Sacred Stone Camp made a post stating that the viral status did not originate from their camp, but they do bless the action.

There is no solid line between “organizers” and others- this is a
movement, not an organization. There are many camps and points of contact, we can only verify that the ‘Facebook Check In’ action did not originate from the Sacred Stone Camp FB page. We support the tactic, and think it is a great way to express solidarity

There is no doubt that law enforcement comb social media for
incriminating material and monitor communications.

The check in’s have created a huge influx of media attention that we appreciate. Our growing massive social media following plays a key role in this struggle. We have been ignored for the most part by mainstream media, yet we have hundreds of thousands of supporters from across the world. We appreciate a diversity of tactics and encourage people to come up with creative ways to act in solidarity, both online and as real physical allies.

We would like to see these thousands of people take physical action to demand that their banks divest, their police forces withdraw, and the Army Corps and Obama administration halt the construction of this pipeline. We would like CitiBank, Bank of Tokyo, and Mizho Bank to cancel their pending $1.1 billion dollar loan to DAPL. We’d also like to see people connect with indigenous and environmental struggles in their own bioregion. We’d like you to investigate and organize around your personal relationship to fossil fuel consumption and colonization.

There is more than one thing that these check-ins are doing. For one, it shows solidarity between those at Standing Rock and those who cannot manage to go. The best reasoning behind the action is that it raises awareness. People are now asking, and Google searching why people are checking into Standing Rock.

So while the Facebook campaign may, or may not, be screwing with law enforcement on the scene, it is helping to spread information on the desperate situation occurring in North Dakota.

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About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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