Mall of America used fake Facebook account to surveil Black Lives Matter activists


In 2015, The Intercept obtained documents showing that the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota used a fake Facebook account to friend and monitor local Black Lives Matter activists, and collect their personal information and photographs without their knowledge. The account was discovered in a cache of files the Mall of America provided to Bloomington officials after a large BLM protest against police brutality that was held at the mall. After the protest, the city charged 11 protesters with six criminal misdemeanours and sought $65,000 in restitution. The Facebook information was used by the mall's security team to build dossiers on each activist. An earlier 2011 investigation by National Public Radio and the Center for Investigative Reporting found that the Mall of America had set up a private counterterrorism unit it called Risk Assessment and Mitigation, which used aggressive procedures to pursue mall patrons it deemed suspicious.

Writer: Lee Fang
Publication: The Intercept