Facebook scolds police: Stop making fake profiles to ‘friend’ and monitor activists

Facebook police

I live in Memphis, just like Bob Smith, and even though we've never met I happen to know a lot about him. I know, based on his Facebook likes, that he's a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement; of Bernie Sanders; of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center here in town; and of comedian Rickey Smiley. The reason I've never met him, though, is not because he's one person in this city of around 1 million people. It's because he doesn't exist.

Rather, the online persona doesn't exist, but the police officer behind it very much does. It's a fake profile that was created by the Memphis Police Department to 'friend' and keep tabs on BLM activists, a disclosure that was revealed as part of legal action against the police department here. News accounts about that revelation were how Facebook itself found out about the practice, and why the company in recent days sent a letter to the city's police chief directly warning him -- stop doing that.

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Facebook scolds police: Stop making fake profiles to ‘friend’ and monitor activists originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 25 Sep 2018 at 19:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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