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10 December 2016 08:51 (South Africa)
Politics

A brief look: No, Anonymous won't hit Facebook on 5 November. Maybe

  • Sipho Hlongwane
    sipho hlongwane BW
    Sipho Hlongwane

    Sipho Hlongwane is a writer and columnist for Daily Maverick. His other work interests also include motoring, music and technology, for which he has some awards. In a previous life, he drove forklift trucks, hosted radio shows, waited tables, and was once bitten by a large monitor lizard on his ankle. It hurt a lot. Arsenal Football Club is his only permanent obsession.

    He appears in these pages as a political correspondent.

  • Politics
zuckerberg 5 nov

At least, that’s what it tweeted, in response to a YouTube video that is trending on social networks. In the video, someone claiming to be from Anonymous says the shadowy outfit will shut Facebook down on Guy Fawkes Night. But who knows, when Anonymous itself cannot agree on what it wants to do… By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

This is exactly why having loose brands tied around anonymity turn out to be a bad idea: Anybody can kidnap it for his own purposes. Case in point: Anonymous, the group of hackers who have been causing trouble all over the Internet on behalf of WikiLeaks, has had to tweet it’s not actually connected to a YouTube posted on 16 July, saying that Facebook would be shut down on Guy Fawkes Night. “TO PRESS: MEDIAS OF THE WORLD... STOP LYING! #OpFacebook is just ANOTHER FAKE! WE DONT ‘KILL’ THE MESSENGER. THAT'S NOT OUR STYLE #Anonymous”, it tweeted.

A little later, it followed it up with “#OpFacebook is being organised by some Anons. This does not necessarily mean that all of #Anonymous agrees with it.”

Watch: Message from Anonymous: Operation Facebook, November 5 2011

Whoever is behind #OpFacebook say the reason they are going to bring down the world’s largest social network is because "everything you do on Facebook stays on Facebook, regardless of your privacy settings and deleting your account is impossible" and also because they collude with oppressive regimes around the world.

So there you have it. Is the video linked to Anonymous? That’s a pointless exercise, really. The question is; can they do it? They’ve already managed to hack PayPal’s site, and a smattering of others who were perceived to be anti-WikiLeaks. But Anonymous has not tried anything this ambitious before. A clue to the fact that this might be biting off more than can possibly be chewed is that they can’t even agree on whether or not they want to do this or not. DM


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Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, California July 6, 2011. Facebook will integrate Skype videoconferencing into its social networking service, striking a deal to cement its role as a hub for communications. REUTERS/Norbert von der Groeben.

  • Sipho Hlongwane
    sipho hlongwane BW
    Sipho Hlongwane

    Sipho Hlongwane is a writer and columnist for Daily Maverick. His other work interests also include motoring, music and technology, for which he has some awards. In a previous life, he drove forklift trucks, hosted radio shows, waited tables, and was once bitten by a large monitor lizard on his ankle. It hurt a lot. Arsenal Football Club is his only permanent obsession.

    He appears in these pages as a political correspondent.

  • Politics

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