Updated at 3:45 p.m.
Our Facebook timelines erupted early Monday morning with a specific kind of post: Seemingly half of our friends had apparently traveled to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and used Facebook to “check in.”
Except they weren’t really there. They had used Facebook’s check-in feature to lend support to the ongoing protests. According to one of the viral posts that called on Facebook users to check in at the reservation, the flood of check-ins is intended to “overwhelm and confuse” police agencies. The post alleged that the Morton County Sheriff’s Department had been using check-ins to identify and “target” protesters.
“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,” read the call to action.
So far, no protester group has claimed responsibility for the request. A legal team working with the Standing Rock Sioux told us they were not aware of who sent the message or who wrote it.
In addition, the Sacred Stone Camp has told Snopes that they are not responsible for the tactic, though they affirmed it was a “great way to express solidarity.” Standing Rock protesters have previously requested that people contact leaders in the Army Corps of Engineers and the Obama Administration in opposition to the pipeline, and #NoDAPL lists a wide varieties of other solidarity actions on their website.