The Anonymous #opFacebook was genuine, but was not created to encourage a 5th November attack

Opinion by Dan Raywood

Yesterday the talk was around whether a new video from the Anonymous group, where it pledged to kill Facebook, was genuine or not.

Yesterday the talk was around whether a new video from the Anonymous group, where it pledged to kill Facebook, was genuine or not.

According to a blog by Gawker, the threat was genuine but was effectively inactive. It pointed to an Anonymous statement by ‘Speakeasy' where the beginnings of ‘opFacebook' were detailed as having ‘began several months ago and had between ten and 20 members'.

According to the statement, opFacebook initially had one goal ‘to bring attention to the fact that Facebook stored the data of user accounts' which morphed into a second goal ‘to develop an ethical, anonymous Facebook alternative'.

The statement, said: “Development began on the site (albeit slowly) and all was well for a few days. Then came news of anonplus, an Anonymous social network, similar to the one that was being developed at opFacebook. The site in development by opFacebook was slowing to a halt and so I decided to offer the source to the team at anonplus. This came as a relief as I was growing tired of the project.

“I expected them to accept my offer of free source code and a mostly functioning site that would have reduced the embarrassment they subjected themselves to with the epic fail of announcing a site before they started coding. Unfortunately however, the ‘leader' (I lol'd) was a bit of a bitch and I was subjected to a number of attempted doxes and then kickbanned.”

Speakeasy continued by claiming that the opFacebook channel was never removed and it was decided by others that a mass deletion of Facebook accounts would occur on November the 5th, which spiralled into the rumours of an attack on Facebook.

The Gawker article claimed that the current panic ‘springs from some overeager hacktivists and media stumbling over the remnants of that abandoned operation and spinning it into a dastardly plot to destroy Facebook'.

Speakeasy said he did not know who created the opFacebook video and told Gawker he was surprised as to how the failed protest had spiralled out of control. “An attack on Facebook would be ridiculous. Even if it succeeded, Facebook has a lot of users and we want to help people, not hurt them,” he said.

As for the ‘official' line of the support for opFacebook, the Anonops Twitter said that opFacebook was ‘being organised by some Anons' but ‘this does not necessarily mean that all of Anonymous agrees with it'.

Another tweet from a different account at Anonyops said that ‘an Anonymous board meeting was held' and it had ‘decided to renounce opFacebook'.

So will there be any action on November 5th against Facebook as the video called for? It is possible that a small number will remain charged enough to create an attack against the social networking giant, but as Imperva CTO Amichai Shulman told SC Magazine yesterday, the video was likely a call to arms and without enough horsepower, any attack will likely fail.

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