Massachusetts Police Department Blames ‘Hacker’ for Anti-Transgender Post

Author: Christopher Wiggins

On Tuesday, derogatory and transphobic posts were posted on the official Facebook page of a Massachusetts police department, leading to the department scrambling to regain access to its account.

The law enforcement agency said that its account had been hacked.

In a Facebook post late Tuesday night, an unknown person claimed an officer shot a transgender woman 40 times.

The post was removed on Thursday when the Hopedale Police Department had successfully regained control of its account, the department said.

It had taken down its entire Facebook page while cybersecurity experts worked on account access.

“I want to extend my apologies to our community and Facebook followers who were affected by the offensive message that a ‘hacker’ posted on the Hopedale Police Department’s Facebook page,” said Police Chief Mark Giovanella on Thursday in a statement to the community. “The message posted attacked an individual’s political views; it was hateful speech toward the LGBTQIA+ community and an attack on the Hopedale police organization.”

Late Tuesday night, readers discovered the inflammatory post on the Hopedale Police’s Facebook page.

According to Giovanella, the department took action to remove the post once it became aware of what happened. The Facebook page administrator tried to delete the post but was locked out.

“As the administrator worked diligently to gain control of the department’s page, we learned this was an outside attack, and the attacker had removed HPD staff from the Facebook account,” he clarified.

A situation like the one described in the fake post would never occur, Giovanella assured the community. According to him, all Hopedale officers receive annual training in de-escalation and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“We will continue to investigate how the hacker took control of our Facebook page and what preventative measures will be needed in the future to secure our social media platforms,” he added.

Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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