If on Monday you noticed that a lot of your Facebook friends were suddenly visiting North Dakota, it's likely they not only aren't actually at that location, but that they're trying to contribute to a cause.
Ongoing protests in the state over the Dakota Access oil pipeline have prompted some Facebook users to check in at Standing Rock Indian Reservation as a show of support and ostensibly to throw off law enforcement as to the location of actual protesters. Some posts also suggested that those checking in via Facebook not post an explanation to friends, but to do that separately in a private post that doesn't show up publicly.
However, according to the fact-checking site Snopes, it's unclear if that effort actually helps the protest, especially if Morton County Sheriff's Department officials aren't actually using Facebook to geolocate protesters and disrupt their activity. Snopes reached out to the Sheriff's Department as well as protest organizers from Sacred Stone Camp and concluded:
Neither the Morton County's Sheriff's Department nor representatives for a large camp believed that the viral Facebook status meme was impeding law enforcement activities (although the protesters said that they appreciated the solidarity).
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