If you happen to be part of the 1 million or so people who watched Seven News, you would have heard that some people from the group Anonymous plans to “kill” Facebook on November 5. However, in a time of sloppy journalism, they could have done a bit more research and common sense to find out that it is most likely not going to happen.
A little digging on Google, we find that this story was already out there since August 9. Many of which copied and pasted the entire press release (here is the site I found it on). You may find that there’s a link to the Twitter account of the organisers.
Here’s a tweet which will answer the question, are they going to take down Facebook?
Yes. It was an awareness campaign.
I should also point out that Anonymous is decentralised, meaning that while there is an “official” group that does the main hacking, there are smaller factions or splinter groups who use the Anonymous name and do their own thing – like this one. To be fair on Seven News, they did point out that Anonymous wasn’t officially involved and that it was faction of the group.
Though, the likelihood they will attack Facebook is also very small due to one thing – Occupy Wall Street/Melbourne/Sydney/(insert city name here).
The thing is, Anonymous are supporting the Occupy movement. And what helps the Occupy movement? Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, which proliferates meetings and protests and acts a way to organise more Occupy movements around the world. Shutting down Facebook, even for one day, could potentially harm the movement’s reach.
Plus, I think Anonymous has a lot on their plate, such as something to do with the Mexican drug cartel.
But why did Seven News not check this out? The very mention of “Anonymous” says it all. They are a hacker organisation that break into, steal and release public information; or do a lot of damage on the servers they hack.
I mean, it isn’t the first time that a news organisation has not used all the facts to tell its story.
So let me repeat: there is likely no Facebook attack by Anonymous on November 5.