Facebook Removes Fake Connecticut State Police Page - NECN

Facebook Removes Fake Connecticut State Police Page

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017)

    A fake Facebook account was passing itself off as the Connecticut State Police and some of the news posted on the now-deleted page was not accurate.

    "We want to make sure that the information that is being provided under the Connecticut State Police name is accurate information, is correct information, is information coming from Connecticut State Police," Trooper Kelly Grant, the public information officer for Connecticut State Police, said. 

    A close look at the Facebook profile picture can be the first clue into knowing that the account is fake. 

    "We don't want to see anybody harmed, we don't want to see anyone misguided or misdirected. We did notify Facebook that this page is not a Connecticut State Police page," Grant told NBC Connecticut.

    On Tuesday afternoon, Facebook deactivated the page, which featured false information mixed with what appears to be some comic relief and engaged followers.

    "It's terrible, 'cause you don't know what's true and what's not because it definitely looks real," Kim Belanger, of Simsbury, said. 

    Quinnipiac journalism professor Rich Hanley said what's even more alarming is the content of some of the posts. 

    "Fake news always has a kernel of truth in it. That's why it works," Hanley said. "Once this stuff is shared, it gets completely out of control and it's impossible to reign in." 

    Grant noted the author moved from posting derogatory comments on their official page to creating his own Connecticut State Police page and state police are checking to see if it’s all legal.

    In the meantime, Grant said to look for the signs.

    "Read what's in front of you, make sure it's legitimate. Look at the patch. You know, our state police patch is up there. Look at the patch, read the patch. Read what it says about calling 911, read what it says who we are. If that doesn't make sense, if that's not correct information." 

    NBC Connecticut did reach out to the poster and a new post was emailed to us.

    This appears to be the second fake state police page posted recently on Facebook. One popped up last week, but was also taken down. State police said they monitor social media on a regular basis.