Is Facebook going to die?

The mainstream media got punked last week by a group claiming to be the infamous Anonymous hackers. News agencies around the world put out an alert that Anonymous planned to destroy Facebook on November 5, 2011 (Guy Fawkes Day).

Reporting by London-based Telegraph was typical:  “A splinter group from the notorious hacker collective Anonymous is rumoured to be gathering support for a plan to ‘kill’  online social networking giant Facebook. . . . Its aim was to destroy the social network on the grounds that it abused the privacy of users.”  And thanks to a YouTube video and Twitter account said to be posted and managed by the illusive group, and of course news sources, the rumor spread like wildfire.

By this week, news agencies realized they had been duped and quickly killed the rumor. As CBSNews headlined, “We’ve been had! Anonymous not ‘killing’ Facebook.”

Parmy Olsen of Forbes.com reported that it wasn’t just a rumor from nowhere, though. Olsen wrote, “A few supporters of Anonymous had actually collaborated earlier this year on a operation aimed at taking Facebook offline. . .”

Eventually the collaborators got bored and abandoned the idea, Olsen wrote. But some newcomers stumbled upon their abandoned chat room, and took up the torch. It was these newcomers, thought to be kids out of school for the summer and posing as Anonymous members, who created the Twitter account and the video.

“So next time you hear about a looming cyber attack by Anonymous, stay calm. Bear in mind that pretty much anyone can front a well-made YouTube video and think twice about whether this is all just a bit of fun for a few bored people  on their summer break.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s goal for Facebook is to make the world “open,” according to Judy Hasday, author of Morgan Reynolds’s Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Said Zuckerberg:

The thing I really care about is making the world more open and connected. What that stands for is something that I have believed in for a really long time. . . . Open means having access to more information, right? More transparency, being able to share things and have a voice in the world. . .

Perhaps Zuckerberg did not realize when he created Facebook that providing an “open” world might also open Pandora’s box to a myriad of privacy issues and media frenzy.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information on Zuckerberg and Facebook, check out Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg by Judy Hasday, a Morgan Reynolds book. (ISBN 9781599351766)

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Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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