At midnight, social media Facebook will shut down, a group of hackers calling themselves Anonymous, has vowed. The ‘hactivists’ will destroy the medium of exchange accusing it of exposing peoples’ privacy. “One day you will look back on this and realise what we have done here is right, you will thank the rulers of the Internet; we are not harming you but saving you.
Anonymous has been accused before of hacking United States intelligence centre Pentagon website, computer makers Microsoft and world’s second-largest media conglomerate News Corp, owned by media mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch, among others. In a video posted to Youtube in July but has now been disabled titled Operation Facebook, 2011, Anonymous announced their proposed attack on the social networking site today, saying: “Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from around the world.”
They claim that everything done on Facebook stays on Facebook regardless of “privacy” settings, and deleting your account is impossible. “Even if you “delete” your account, all your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time. “Changing the privacy settings to make your Facebook account more “private” is also a delusion. Facebook knows more about you than your family,” Anonymous said.
Facebook has taken over letters and emails as a social way of communicating in the world. Many people use it to contact their friends using emails while others use it to chat, which some employers say wastes working hours.
“In case it happens, it will be back almost immediately because of the mechanisms which they have put in just the way Google and other media have done,” Mr Mwamunga said. But the ‘hacktivists’, infamous for meddling with the American government and for their support for WikiLeaks, have announced that they will focus on bringing down facebook.
Facebook was started in 2004 and has more than 750 million users worldwide. Its 27-year-old chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, is thought to be worth £8.3 billion (Sh800 billion) according to Forbes. And while its popularity appears to be increasing, many questions remain over privacy issues — there are fears that the information uploaded by users will be passed on to other sources.