By Dexter R. Matilla
Editor, TWEAK Magazine
We’ve all heard of conspiracy theories about Facebook being used as a means to spy on people who have accounts on the social networking site from all over the world. But until there is proof that billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s empire really is involved in any form of spying, such allegations will remain as such.
An activist group, however, is firm in its belief that Facebook is selling information to government agencies as well as providing back-door access to information security firms—effectively opening up what should be the private lives of the social networking site’s users.
Members of Anonymous, which refers to themselves as “hactivists”, released a statement indicating that they would “destroy” Facebook on November 5, 2011.
According to the statement, “Everything you do on Facebook stays on Facebook regardless of your ‘privacy’ settings, and deleting your account is impossible, even if you ‘delete’ your account, all your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time. Changing the privacy settings to make your Facebook account more ‘private’ is also a delusion. Facebook knows more about you than your family.”
“The riots are underway,” the message continues. “It is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It is a battle for choice and informed consent. It’s unfolding because people are being raped, tickled, molested, and confused into doing things where they don’t understand the consequences. Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of and hides the details away from them ‘for their own good’ while they then make millions off of you. When a service is ‘free’, it really means they’re making money off of you and your information.”
Anonymous has not revealed yet how it will accomplish such a mission, codenamed “Operation Facebook”. The chosen date, however, is not coincidence as it coincides with the death anniversary of Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up London’s House of Lords and assassinate King James I of England. Fawkes was arrested instead.
But the story doesn’t end there as other members of Anonymous insist that “Operation Facebook” is not something that the group would condone, with some even saying through the Anonymous Twitter account @Anonops that it may just be a hoax by rogue members of their group.
Initial plans by the group were to mass delete Facebook accounts but some thought it was a bad idea and was thus removed. There were also indications that Anonymous’ statement was merely misunderstood and their plan was to really create an alternative to Facebook, one that would not sell or share its users information.
“Think for a while and prepare for a day that will go down in history,” the letter reads. “November 5 2011, #opfacebook. Engaged.”
Tweak will follow the story as it develops. Please feel free to share your thoughts here.