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I told you Anonymous wouldn’t kill Facebook

Nov 06, 20113 mins
Core Java

So here I am on Sunday, Nov. 6, staring at Facebook and having a fairly ordinary day. But wait, wasn’t Anonymous going to destroy Facebook Nov. 5? That was yesterday, and we’re still here.

My prediction that Anonymous wouldn’t touch Facebook was hardly original. Few security industry experts took this thing seriously.

But the fact that the so-called threat was even deemed newsworthy just goes to show what this world has come to.

A lot of people are on the edge of their seats, waiting for the digital Peal Harbor we’ve heard about for more than a decade — wherein the Internet would go boom at the hands of determined hackers working as foot soldiers in an online conflict between nations.

But Anonymous was never about that sort of thing, nor are other hacktivist groups like LulzSec.

These guys have a political agenda, and need the Internet to make their statements as much as the rest of us need the Internet for things like Facebooking, gaming and shopping on Amazon.

The reasoning behind the threat to Facebook was that in Anonymous’ eyes,according to one of its spokesmen, “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 information stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time.”

When threats of a Nov. 5 Facebook doomsday started wafting through the rumor mill over the summer, I wrote the following in a previous post:

I agree Facebook is a major threat to the privacy of everyone using it. But here’s the problem with Anonymous’ thinking:

Forgotten is the fact that people on Facebook willingly given up their privacy. This isn’t a typical Anonymous target — a big corporate or government entity allegedly playing fast and loose with personal data its clientele expects it to protect.

Facebook users gleefully tear down their privacy by telling everyone about their date of birth, how to reach them by email and where they work. Facebook users also love to show off pictures of their kids, their girlfriends and boyfriends, and their homes.

I’m no exception. I’ve done all of these things. We all do it on Facebook because we want attention. We are social networking addicts.

Anonymous is threatening to take away the very thing we’ve invested all our addictive energy on. You could say it has just volunteered to be our 12-Step sponsor and our doctor. It knows what’s good for us and what kind of bitter medicine we need.

Forcing millions of people to go cold turkey all at once? That couldn’t possibly end well.

Next, they’ll go after Starbucks and all my favorite cigar makers.

All jesting aside, I’m not personally worried about Nov. 5 — the day Anonymous has apparently set aside for Facebook’s beating.

Anonymous adores attention as much as the rest of us. Taking down Facebook would mean less attention for Anonymous, too.

Heck, this idea wasn’t even popular within Anonymous.

Nov. 5 has passed by us as normally as other days that were set aside for disaster, like Jan. 1, 2000 and May 21, 2011.

Carry on.

–Bill Brenner

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