How Facebook helped activists in North Dakota become worldwide news

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 9.38.08 PM.png People around the world began seeing friends all over Facebook checking in on at the location of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota. More than one million people checked in on Facebook in an effort that they will help protesters avoid detection by police (

People around the world began seeing friends all over Facebook checking in on at the location of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota. More than one million people checked in on Facebook in an effort that they will help protesters avoid detection by police (Time.com). Activists utilized the instructions of a viral post in order to confuse the Morton County Sheriff’s department. They did this because it was said that local authorizes were using Facebook to identify protesters, even though the officials denied the claim (Time.com). The initiative spread like crazy drawing national headlines and spread awareness of what the activists were trying to accomplish and what authorities and the oil industry was attempting to do.

Since the Dakota Access pipeline was proposed the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been opposing and protesting the construction. The Facebook strategy helped the movement that started small grow into the thousands of people from all over the world that gave their support as well as activists who joined the protests in solidarity against the 1,172-mile Dakota Access pipeline (NPR.com). After years of protesting, thousands of help and pain from all over the world, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would deny the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline (NPR.com). Facebook was able to help something that was small or barely any news in the mainstream traditional media become worldwide news. It is nice to know that social media can still help good causes and not just make a meme or video become viral.

By:Anakarin Petersen

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism