If you were confused by all of the check-ins at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation flooding your Facebook timeline on Monday morning, then you're not alone. At first glance, the flurry of check-ins at the reservation might seem like a weird Facebook glitch or that a bunch of your friends traveled there without inviting you, but it turns out the posts actually have to do with the ongoing protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline.
As you may have figured out by now, the friends, co-workers, and family members who checked in at Standing Rock aren't actually there. Instead, the avalanche of check-ins appear to be an orchestrated move to protect Standing Rock protesters from allegedly being targeted and surveilled via Facebook by police. Although it's unclear where the call to check-in originated, the posts suggest that activists opposing the pipeline want several thousand check-ins to confuse and overwhelm law enforcement officials, but there's also a chance that the whole thing is just a giant hoax, according to a report by Vice News.
Either way, the posts quickly resulted in a viral showing of solidarity for protesters who are actually on the ground. Here's a screenshot of the specific Facebook check-in instructions currently floating around: