More than 300 Native American nations and indigenous people from “Earth” have converged on Standing Rock in North Dakota since April to protect water against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, saying it would jeopardize the tribe’s water supply and threaten sacred tribal sites.
Early on Monday, a Facebook post said that the Morton County sheriff’s department was using Facebook check-ins to target people at the protest camp.
“Water Protecters are calling on EVERYONE to check-in at Standing Rock, ND to overwhelm and confuse them,” the post said, going on to urge that everyone copy and share the text along with their check-in.
The origin of the text is not known. But it is spreading quickly; the number of check-ins at the Standing Rock reservation page went from 140,000 to more than 870,000 by Monday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the Morton County sheriff’s department told the Guardian in a statement that it was “not monitoring Facebook check-ins”
Wiyaka Eagleman, a member of the Sicangu Lakota from Rosebud, South Dakota, who has been at the prayer camp since it began in April, described the check-ins as “a form of support”, but added: “It would be nice to have those 550,000 people [really] here.”