mall_of_america_brawl_12_28_2011Protesters can be disruptive to businesses, as we’re sure most of you guys are aware. For example during the Hong Kong protests, regular folks were prevented from going into work simply because the protesters had blocked off access to the business districts. The Mall of America faced similar disruptions last year when 3,000 or so protesters gathered outside the mall as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It seems that in order to prevent or better prepare for future disruptions if and when they might take place, a report from The Intercept revealed that the mall actually had a fake Facebook profile setup in which they allegedly use it to monitor activists on social network. To be fair the profile was said to have been created back in 2009, but recent activity saw the fake profile like pages like Black Lives Matter and also friended 817 other people, most of whom are reported to have ties to the local Minnesota political activism groups.

After the report was released, the Mall of America released a statement claiming that they do not track individuals on social media, but rather they are monitoring conversations that might end up proving to be a security concern so that they might better prepare themselves. Part of the statement reads, “The safety and security of our guests is the number one priority at Mall of America. To ensure that safety, our security teams use a careful combination of physical means, some of which our guests can see and many of which they cannot see, as well as digital means such as social media.”

As for the part about keeping track of conversations, the Mall of America said, “We do not follow individuals or groups based on political viewpoints however we do track conversations that may pose a security concern. These conversations may include unauthorized illegal protests, potential criminal activity or harmful acts on Mall of America property.”

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