We may only find out if it’s true on November 5 when we try to log into Facebook and find the site has collapsed, but in the meantime know that hacking group Anonymous have threatened to take down Facebook on November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day. And we’re not just talking about an outage, by the sounds of things they want to wipe it off the face of the netz.
A video launching the threat to “kill Facebook” was pasted on YouTube – see below. We’re not sure how genuine it is and to be fair, it’s not really Anon style to post a video of an attack with a target and a date before they do it, I think they’re likely to issue some veiled threat. However, let’s take it at face value and look at why the hell these guys want to take down the website where people put their holiday photos.
Anonymous are mostly famous for their politically motivated attacks & boycotts on behalf of Wikileaks and their data dumps on police forces. They have been involved in supporting the Arab Spring too.
So why Facebook? They can’t have run out of Middle Eastern dictators already can they? Turns out it’s all about information control – see the three key claims they make below.
[NB: we can't substantiate these, but they are the allegations that Anon has made against Facebook in this video.]
Claim 1) FB sells your personal information to government agencies.
Claim 2) FB is passing over information about activists in Egypt and Syria. They offer clandestine access to members’ information to security firms, who then pass the information onto governments including those in Egypt in Syria.
Claim 3) It’s impossible to delete your Facebook account. They say that even if you delete your account, Facebook stores all the information and can pull it up at any time.
Anonymous acknowledge that we’d miss it: calling Facebook the “medium of communication [we] all so dearly adore.”
My message to these guys: on balance Facebook does way more for social good and democracy than against it. Remember that Egyptian couple who called their child Facebook? It’s been a force for good and Zuckerberg is not just in it for the money, he just likes playing around with this stuff. Also, when Twitter took down the Wikileaks account, Facebook kept their page up.