Danay Fernandez                                                                     Group 5

A scam on Facebook that affected many supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement

By Danay Fernandez


Danay, Excellent analysis of this topic. You have really explored “the insides” of this scam and provided an intelligent commentary on the truths and lies behind the story. On the final essay, please include the bibliography at the end.

Yes, I agree that the pictures will help. So if you can do it on WordPress, fine. If  not, you can email me a Word document if you can. If not, don’t worry about the pictures.



It is not news to anyone that we are living in a technological world dominated by technology. But This world we are living in has its pros and cons. Taking the example of social media into consideration, whileOn the pro side, social media allows some to be connected to friends and share with them how their day is going and what they think about current events; however, it also allows others to create fake profiles and accounts with no good aspirations. For instance, Newton Lee discusses in his book Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness several examples and provides some statistical information on the creation of fake profiles with different purposes, not only in Facebook but also in Twitter and YouTube, over the years. According to Newton’s book there were “83 million Facebook profiles [that] were fake” (Lee) in 2012.

We are living in a sad world where not only “thousands of companies” (Security) and individuals are victims of phishing’s attacks because of their economic status but also ordinary individuals face the dangers of being when online because social media platforms are not always secure. A clear example is the Black Lives Matter page on Facebook, which purported to support the movement with of the same name but in reality was administered by an Australian man who had no connection with the movement. Almost 700,000 people followed the page. They were all victims of this online scam while all they ever wanted was to support the Black Lives Matter movement. According to the CNN’s report, “only after almost a week of emails and calls between CNN and Facebook … [did] Facebook suspend the page” (O’Sullivan).

Facebook has also been heavily criticized for the way it handled users’ personal information after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Therefore, people were not surprised to find out that the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam. As a result of this discovery, social media and Black Lives Matter activists opened a whole new social media debate targeting Facebook’s commitment to change.

The first source of information about what happened and how it happened was a report by CNN. Several other sources based their articles, blogs and posts on the information provided by this report, which means that if CNN had lied or manipulated information, we might never have been able to tell. Ian Mackay, the Australian man who supposedly ran the page, wrote to CNN:  “What is the point in speaking to you given that you are going to run your story either way” (O’Sullivan). Mackay’s words imply that there is a chance this information we are basing ourselves off that CNN was disseminating was not completely accurate either.

Facebook was the perfect place for this huge social media debate to take place. The ABC News’ post and the Black Lives Matter real page post were the main ways of spreading the news about the event, reaching more than 200 shares in the social platform. While Facebook stayed at the center of the credibility debate after CNN’s discovery, the movement itself and the union formed also part of it. As a medium where freedom of speech reigns, Facebook became the witness of “BLM is a scam itself”, “this person’s actions are representatives of the union as a whole”, and other similar comments by mad or sarcastic people scrolling down their Facebook feeds.

The comment by Rick HR in the Black Lives Matter’s statement seems to be an accurate one. According to CNN’s report, when CNN initially contacted Facebook with proof that the page was fraudulent, Facebook’s response was that there was no need to take down the page because they had not found anything suspicious about it. It was not until Facebook suspended BP Parker’s profile that they suspended the page. BP Parker is believed to be Ian Mackay’s accomplice. Additionally, and most importantly, in the Black Lives Matter movement’s statement the movement’s activists mentioned how they had contacted Facebook and Twitter for several months but “received no adequate response and many supporters continued to be misled” (Statement). Patrisse Cullors’ tweet (Hsu) and Josie Crawford’s response are just other examples of Facebook’s weakened credibility. Could this be happening because Facebook is doing what Rick HR is accusing the platform to be doing?

It is impossible not to mention the first person that realized the page was a scam, Jeremy Massler. Massler, according to the article by Amy Wang, in the Washington Post, called the page a “sham” (Wang) in his blog and established connections between the donations to the page and Ian Mackay. However, Massler is not getting the appreciation he deserves. If he had not contacted CNN about his findings, the page would probably still be active now.

It seems that the International Business Times is either not a reliable source of information or the only source that it is not lying, hiding or manipulating information. CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times agree on what the donations that the page raised were at least or around $100,000. However, Dan Perez, of the International Business Times,  affirms that the page “raised more than $130,000 in donations”. Another curious thing about Perez’s article is that he innocently mentions how Facebook “investigated the situation as soon as it was brought to their attention” without mentioning anything about how long and how many people’s effort it took the platform to take the page down.


Fake News

Good journalistic writing, great concept, funny with an

undercurrent of seriousness. Need more graphics, but the

ones that are there are good.

Marco Rubio under fire after possible connections to

drug trafficking circle.

Senator Marco Rubio is currently under investigation with local authorities after an anonymous source has tipped them tipped them off with information regarding possible ties to a highly notorious drug trafficking ring. On June 17th, officials raided Rubio’s office in Miami, Florida, and found over $500,000 in hard cash that may have connections to recent activity within the ring. The money was found hidden in various areas throughout his office, including air vents and floorboards, obviously not meant to be found. Rubio was in Washington D.C. at the moment of the raid on official business with the U.S. Senate. Rubio has been taken for interrogation, but word on whether he has been charged with any criminal offenses is still unknown.

Senator Rubio’s position on drugs and their use remains unclear to the public. Rubio took stances against drug use in the past while running for office. He is anti-legalization of cannabis and for federal regulation of all drug use, regardless of local or state regulations on the matter. On the other hand, was one out of four co-sponsors for the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016, an act that made it harder for the Drug Enforcement Agency to crack down on drug distribution companies that sent opioids to Internet pharmaceuticals and corrupt doctors.

The drug trafficking charges that await Rubio could be substantial enough to land him 10 years to life in prison. Though there was no physical evidence of drug possession at the moment of the raid, the presence of hard cash is enough to warrant an investigation. Recent activity of a drug cartel has caught the attention of federal authorities and the discovery of this cash has allowed for a full-blown investigation to be conducted, which has consequently brought down at least 4 more suspected members of the ring. It is unknown if the source of the cash was from a large push of drugs or a bribe from the ring for any political favors on Rubio’s end.

However, this is not Rubio’s first experience with drug cartels. His family suffered a major blow when Rubio’s ex-brother-in-law, Orlando Cicilia, was arrested in 1987 on the charges of running one of the largest cocaine cartels in Miami at the time. Rubio had stated in his memoir, An American Son,that he was very close with Cicilia and he had a large impact on his upbringing. After his connections with Cicilia were exposed in 2011, Rubio had sworn that he had no idea of the cartel activity going on at the time.

Though Rubio has come out seemingly unscathed from previous allegations of corruption, it seems his chances of recovery from these accusations are slim. The former GOP candidate has already faced the backlash from his supporters, many of who have taken to social media to share their views. With comments ranging from “sellout” to “coward”, Rubio’s only rebuttal has been a bible verse that he posted on Twitter on June 21st. Updates on the investigation are still underway, but neither Rubio nor his team has released any comments on the issue.


Reflective paragraph

The article was written with the purpose of addressing corruption and the predominant self-interest on the Republican side. The rhetorical appeal used is the ethos. Our article questions Marco Rubio’s credibility. The intended audience is the progressives. The “hook” to lure in readers is the article’s headline which suggests that an important public figure like Marco’s Rubio has been involved in trafficking. Marco Rubio’s followers will like to read more about it, but Marco Rubio’s opponents will love to read more about so they are all forced to click on the headline and read the article.




Anabelle Torres: Ideas + Writing and editing

Gina Martins: Writing + Research

Felipe Rosas: Ideas + Writing support

Danay Fernandez: Photos + Reflection





Essay Bibliography

Very good bibliography, Felipe. I look forward to your final essay.

(Prof. Pearson would not allow that FIU Library in general to serve as an actual source, although I know what you mean. He wanted you to find an actual good article or authoritative website.) Otherwise, your sources are great.  



Felipe Rosas

Team 5


  1. It took me awhile to found a book that could represent a primary source. An overview is that I book I have chosen is The Iran Nuclear Deal hearinghearing about the Iran deal; it provides an in-depth analysis on how the House Committee on Foreign Affairs questions of how the deal furthers national security. I skimmed the book I couldn’t have chosen a better book as it provides the necessary analysis of the deal.

United States Congress House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Iran Nuclear Deal: Does It Further U.S. National Security?: Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session, December 10, 2013. U.S. Government Printing Office, 2014.



  1. Eriksson explains the broader picture of the Iran deal. He explains how the deal hinged on American interests in the Middle East and brings to the picture Israel and Palestine: how this deal may have an impact to the negotiations about their peace. All of these details are key to the important discussions caused by the withdrawing from the Deal.

Eriksson, Jacob. “Master of None: Trump, Jerusalem and the Prospects of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.” Middle East Policy, vol. 25, no. 2, 4 June 2018, pp. 51–63., doi:10.1111/mepo.12342.



  1. The Deal is surrounded by questions from both sides of the aisle, but the main questions are whether the deal should be fixed, and if so, how? how the deal should be fixed and should it. The article, which was written in Commentary, explains the potential flaws behind the deal and how President Trump is addressing these issues. The article carries on about the risks with the other negotiators: the Europeans of how the potential withdrawing might affect Europe.  

Ceren, Omri. “Can the Iran Deal Be Fixed? And Should It Be?.” Commentary, vol. 145, no. 4, Apr. 2018, pp. 29-32. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.fiu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=128496395&site=ehost-live&scope=site.


  1. The Iran deal was an important diplomatic battle for the US, but another battle is the US-North Korea Summit that took place this week. In the article, the impact of withdrawing from the deal creates a shadow for the summit and the volatile strategy President Trump uses for the meeting. What matters is not the immediate impact of the withdrawing, but the shadow it creates for the diplomatic field.

Toosi, Nahal. “Nixed Iran Nuclear Deal Looms over Trump’s North Korea Talks.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 10 June 2018, www.politico.com/story/2018/06/10/trump-north-korea-iran-nuclear-deal-635012.

  1. Thank God for IGOs. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has a dedicated website for the Iran deal. Pretty much the website is self-explanatory; there are articles mentioning meetings between the agency and Iran’s officials; official graphs describing the ebbs and flows of Iran’s usage during the negotiations, etc.



  1. Any online source has the potential of being used for the essay. Every website is useful in its own way, but for me personally, the best source is the FIU databases. The databases contain all the sources there is and all is on a single website; from books to academic journals, any of those sources is verifiable and valid for an academic project.  




Annotated Bibliography

Danay Fernandez



Excellent work. Great effort, good sources. I look forward

to the essay.




Team 5


Facebook has been heavily criticized for the way it handled users’ personal information after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Therefore, people were not surprised to find out that the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam. As a result of this discovery, social media and Black Lives Matter activists opened a whole new social media debate targeting Facebook’s commitment to change.


In his book, Newton Lee discusses a variety of subjects covering most of today’s world main issues. One of them is privacy in the age of big data. He also discusses our need of total information awareness. As the title of the book implies, while Newton Lee covers plenty of today’s world issues, Facebook is the protagonist of Lee’s book.

This book gives me the tools to approach my subject from a general point of view. Despite all the subjects Newton Lee discusses on his book, for my final essay I will focus on Chapter 9. Lee provides several examples and some statistical information on the creation of fake profiles with different purposes, not only in Facebook but also in Twitter and YouTube, over the years.

This article by Donie O’Sullivan provides an elaborated report of the event. The report includes all the details about the fake Black Lives Matter movement page and the Facebook response to it. It also mentions the companies involved in the fundraising this fake page was doing. But principally, the report questions Facebook’s integrity and the “authenticity in the digital space”.

This report is my strongest source for the final essay. All the details that Donie O’Sullivan includes on the report will be crucial to support my arguments. Also, this article was the first official report of the event, and many newspapers based their articles on it. To explore how we know what we know about the event, it is important to pay close attention to this report.

This newspaper articles mentions the investigation the National Union of Workers (NUW) started. The investigation was caused by the media reports that linked Ian Mackay, a National Union of Workers official, to the fake Facebook page that had raised more than $130000 in donations. But even though Mackay denied those charges, he was suspended from his roles.

Since this article was written in Australia it gives Australia’s perspective on the event. The article highlights the investigation the NUW started. It caught my attention how no other source covers such investigation with the depth this article does.

As the name suggests, this article covers a variety of subjects related to security in the online world. It discusses important themes of security like the dangers of using public wi-fi, the benefits of using a VPN, and how to protect our identity. Another important subject the article explores is the phishing attacks.

For my final essay I will focus on the part of the article that talks about phishing. Since many people get phished every day, it is not hard to believe that they will follow a page like Black Lives Matter. Obviously, these people get phished in most cases because they believe something is wrong with their bank accounts but those who donated and followed the Black Lives Matter got fooled because they wanted to support the movement.

This statement published in the Black Lives Matters movement’s website expresses movement’s activist discontent after the fake Facebook page that purported to represent the Black Lives Matter movement. Activists are saddened because many supporters were misled into following and donating to this Facebook page. The statement expresses activists’ hopes on social media platforms for no more events like this one happening in the future.

I will focus on activists’ hopes for policies to change in platforms like Facebook and Twitter so that supporters do not get misled in the future. They highlight the importance of the diligence of social media platforms with users in the digital world we live in. They also express their disappointment towards not being heard by Facebook because months before the page was taken down they had reported it as fake.

Amy B. Wang begins her article by mentioning all the aspects that made people believe the page was real. She goes on to explain that while it seemed to be the biggest page supported the Black Lives Matter, this page was a fraud tied to an Australian man. She also mentions the donations that this fake page had raised. However, she pays close attention to Facebook’s actions to address the issue.

As said before, Amy B. Wang pays close attention to Facebook’s action. She does so, because many have started to question Facebook’s policies especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now, more than ever, we need the internet to be as safe as possible, because as sadly as it sounds, the internet is our new home.



Secret Story

You have your own distinct style. Very amusing? All

kinds of twists and turns make it a good story. This

brings back he horrors of high school math. And does

the university still put students through those horrors as




Felipe Rosas

Team 5

Before I go on with my own personal story over secrecy, I must mention that after viewing Blevens’ video, lying, in general, has become a virtual plague? in human behavior.

To be honest, I’ve done and said lies to cover my behind ( everyone does it). It’s been mostly “innocent” lies; you know, about school, etc. Nothing too serious. To best tell my story so everyone can understand, I must tell the background story behind it. In high school, you need four math credits to graduate. One credit every school year. Right off the bat, I failed algebra during my freshman year; I failed it because I slept a lot during that class. My parents still doesn’t know the reasons behind the failure (covered the trail with lies.) Immediately, I fell behind my graduation requirements. I recovered by passing Algebra I credit during my sophomore year and doing geometry while in junior year. As you can see, the since the beginning of high school I built my career on lies; I was protecting my privacy. My parents can be at times a bit overreaching, so to protect my flaws and, most importantly, my autonomy, I lied my way to my senior year. Sure, it is embarrassing to admit this publicly, but to move on and mature in life, one has swallow this up and talk it about.

As my senior year began, I still was one credit short of graduating with but still, I but I still didn’t pay attention to how to resolve this. It wasn’t until January 2014 that I took the appropriate steps. I signed up for an online course to recover the missing credit. Algebra II was the lone credit that I was missing. Let me repeat myself: I started the online course in January with four months to spare. Worst of all, I kept it all under wraps. My parents knew very vaguely about what was going on and the potential consequences. As Mr. Blevens plainly states, I was lying for my autonomy; I knew both consciously and subconsciously the mistakes I had done up to that point but I didn’t want to risk my pride as a student. As those months went on, I progressed with the course, but karma sure as hell exists. I fell behind schedule because it was impossible to complete a year-long math course in such a short period of time. As the calendar turned to May, I can tell you that was the second-worst month of my life. The stresses that I endured are indescribable; I felt emotional pain because I didn’t want to disappoint my family, as they were enthusiastically waiting for the ceremony. To reach the point, I failed. I didn’t finish the course on time for graduation. I still carry that emotional scar of the morning when I told them the truth. Fortunately, I recovered from that day, and passed the course and graduated in August of that year. In retrospect, it is probably the best thing for me because I matured as a person because of that incident.  

Hispanic Families Keep Secrets

Amazing story, very well told. You really get into the

difficult psychology of family secrets. 


Danay Fernandez

Team 5

Sometimes families are sustained by lies and secrets. They can go from silly lies, like those we told our parents as kids with grandma’s help, to serious secrets than can change somebody’s life the moment they are no longer a secret. However, most of these appear only in Mexican’s novels.  My family is not an exception. When I was in middle school my parents kept secret all their fights. They did not want me to witness how their relationship was breaking down to nothing. However, that was not a smart decision because they broke my heart when they split up. For a kid that had no idea they had been fighting, that was a sudden decision.

With the years, I have come to realize that while their break up affected me, there were other events that had a greater were the events that succeeded it what had the greatest impact on me. In 2012, my parents, little sister and I were approved visas by the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. My dad had decided he was leaving Cuba, but my mom was scared to come to this country without a man by her side and two kids. So that’s how it exactly happened. My dad came to this country, and the three of us stayed in Cuba. My aunt, a U.S. citizen, who had done all the paperwork for our immigration process, did not want my sister or me to stay in Cuba. She tried to persuade me to leave the country without telling my mom. I remember her telling me: “We can have your mom sign the paper (the authorization paper to allow me, as a minor, to leave the country) without telling her what it is for, and I can just pick you up from school and take you to the airport with your dad”. I did not do it. I did not want to break my mom’s heart. I was not brave enough to leave the country behind my mom’s back and I was afraid of her reaction so I never told her about it.

However, I ended up leaving Cuba. When I turned 16, I told my mother I wanted a better future for us. I left them behind and came to this country with my dad. Right now, my mom’s biggest wish is to be here with me, but she lost her chance to come in 2012. All I can think about is that perhaps I should have listened to my aunt or I should have told my mom. I would have come, and my mom would have had no other option but to come as well. I chose to keep it a secret, partly because like Frederick Blevens says “secrets don’t need a justification”.

I used to think my aunt was empowered by this event because I kept the secret between us. But now I realized, maybe I was the one with the power after all. I had the power to decide what to do with my life and if I wanted that information to be known by others or not.


You tell the story very well. Very sensitively with a good

eye for personal detail.



Gina Martins Team 5

A situation I had to be confidential about was my adoption at birth. For From the beginning of my life, I was told I was my parent’s child (I still am), but I had never seen photos of my mom pregnant or seen any photos of me as an infant. I remember asking my mother about it when I was like 6 or 7, and she would seem embarrassed, almost like she was hiding something from me. She told me she would tell me the truth when I was older, because I was a natural blabbermouth. She finally told me the truth several years later, when I was in middle school. I immediately wanted to tell my friends, “Hey guess what!” But for some reason my mom seemed so embarrassed about it, I kept it low.

My freshman year I had to do a sample test with hereditary traits like eye color and I could not participate since I have no basis. People would keep asking me why I wasn’t participating and I wanted to tell; it didn’t seem like a big deal to me at all. Many famous people are adopted, Steve Jobs, Michael Bay, etc. I had told one of my friends and they kept asking me why I looked so much like my parents if I was adopted and didn’t believe me. She asked my mom if that was true and she sadly tightened her smile, and said yes. When my friend left my house, she said with a dry smile, to never tell anyone again. She backed up her comment by saying its it’s family business. No one else needed to know.

Currently, I am open about this piece of my life. I mention it, if it happens to come up. I am proud of this small detail of my life and I don’t try hiding it. I think my mother was just sad about her age and that people would think she really isn’t my mother. By keeping this secret for so long, I learned to respect her feelings over what was insignificant to me, but meant so much to her. I know that she is my mother; she raised me and still takes care of me. This secret did not empower me whatsoever. It made me feel like I should have been ashamed of an important piece of my life. I was not able to share that detail with so many people that were special to me. I know what my truth was and I share it sometimes with people close to me.