So there's this Facebook thing going around, saying authorities in North Dakota are using check-ins to target people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The posts (if you haven't seen it) look something like this:
The general idea is that, if a bunch of people falsely check in, it will confuse authorities who are (according to this unverified post) using those check-ins to track protesters.
But is it legit?
The Morton County Sheriff's Department – which is the agency mainly dealing with all the protests – said pretty bluntly Monday no.
Snopes also dug into it, reaching out to the sheriff's department and speaking with a representative who told the site Facebook check-ins are of zero value to them. Instead, if the office was using geolocation tracking of phones, a check-in from a totally different city or state wouldn't cause any confusion.
So how'd this start? It's not clear still.
Sacred Stone Camp. which organizes support for the protesters, said on Facebook it did not start the original message. But, the group said it supports the efforts, and said there's "no doubt" law enforcement agencies "comb social media for incriminating material and monitor communications."
Some people are criticizing it as "slacktivism," when things like supplies would actually help the protesters.
A short update on the protests
Demonstrators are still on site in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, protesting the construction of a 1,200-mile pipeline that would carry oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota down into Illinois.
Many members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been protesting, saying the pipeline will threaten their water supply and damage sacred lands. The planned route would brush right up against the reservation. Construction has been paused and resumed while government agencies and courts look at challenges.
Meanwhile, the Morton County Sheriff's Office said Monday a woman was charged with firing three rounds at officers during protests. In addition, a bridge that was damaged after vehicles were set on fire is unsafe, and won't be open for awhile longer.