Facebook is notorious for its confusing privacy settings and for the way it handles personal data of its users. It changes privacy settings too often and the matters with Facebook privacy are so volatile, they are nothing less than annoying.
In response to Facebook’s outlook towards its users, a few members from the hacker collective Anonymous have decided to take down Facebook on November 5 as declared in OP_Facebook. This is their Vendetta-style justice for all of Facebook’s wrongdoings. You can see the YouTube video with a message announcing Operation Facebook.
The video claims that Facebook sells our personal information to government agencies and information security firms. It also names two governments in the message, one being Syria. This did not surprise me, as the website of the Syrian defense ministry was defaced a few days ago, and its contents replaced with a message from Anonymous.
Now, some things are clear from this YouTube video. The video is of inferior quality than what we are used to seeing from Anonymous. This means that either it is a prank, or it is from a much smaller sub-section of Anonymous, which will not draw support from the rest of them.
The YouTube account holding the video was created on July 16, as was the Twitter account for OP_Facebook. Moreover, the attack date of 5 November 2011 is nearly three months from now. Anonymous would never give a three-month notice. The Anonymous I knew would never lose its flair doing this!
The YouTube video does not sound like it really came from Anonymous, which talks in a very different tone than this one. This seems to be a big hoax and there is a good chance that Facebook might not face demise on November 5. For a service as widely distributed as Facebook, it would require all the Anonymous members to launch an attack and this OP_Facebook is a fail even before it will start. Perhaps, the AnonOps Twitter Account spoke for the better half of Anonymous (not participating) when they said,
The message posted in this YouTube video is the views of only a few Anonymous members and the larger Anonymous does not seem to support the cause fully. If anything is interesting in this entire fiasco, it is Guy Fawkes Night.
Update: Gawker claims this video to be one of the remnants of the real OP Facebook, which was launched earlier this year, and abandoned later in July.