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People are using Facebook to virtually protest the Dakota Access Pipeline 

At first glance, it might look like there’s an insane deal on flights to North Dakota.  But that’s not why people are checking into the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on Facebook. Many are deliberately mis-using Facebook’s location-tagging feature to show their support for Native Americans and others protesting the proposed construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

A post circulating on Facebook suggests that local authorities are using Facebook to try to identify activists and disrupt the demonstrations. The website Snopes is trying to validate that claim, but in the meantime the phony check-ins remain a show of digital solidarity. It’s not the only way Facebook is being used in the standoff; Protestors are using Facebook Live to livestream events as they unfold. 

[Photo:ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images]JPT