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Ghost Of Guy Fawkes Evoked To Destroy Facebook?

While the blogoshere is cyberventilating once again about the imminent demise of Facebook (anybody remember the "We're Quitting Facebook Day" scheduled for May 31, 2010?), the ghost of Guy Fawkes has been evoked to stir the conspiracy pot. Five hundred years to the day, the Hacker activist group known as Anonymous is claiming they will coincide their destruction of Facebook with Fawkes attempt to blow up the House of Parliament on November 5, 1605.

Can Facebook's Silicon Valley HDQ office withstand a blast of gunpowder (Fawkes weapon of choice) or is this simply a metaphor for potential DDoS attacks on the social network's monolithic online presence? The correlation between English Catholics trying to protect their freedom of religion versus today's netizens preserving their rights to privacy seems a little strained at best. However the analogy of pairing Mark Zuckerberg with King James I might not be off the mark since both men have displayed intolerance toward those that don't obey their rules.

Anonymous has gained notoriety for meddling with the American government, the Pentagon, Wikileaks and various financial institutions. This week they have announced they will focus on bringing down the popular social networking site in the name of all those who hold privacy near and dear to the hearts. Alluding to their veiled connection to the spirit of Fawkes, the video concludes with: "This is our world now. We exist without nationality, without religious bias…"


Anonymous, whose members don Guy Fawkes hats and masks as seen in the film "V for Vendetta" have pledged to close down the California-based company with a mission moniker simply called: "Operation Facebook." The group proclaimed that November 5 'will go down in history', and stated: 'One day you will look back on this and realize what we have done here is right, (and) you will thank the rulers of the Internet, we are not harming you but saving you."

"The riots are underway. It is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It is a battle for choice and informed consent," they added.

In the graphic novel satire, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks," the fictional tale tells the story about Z-Man (aka Mark Zuckerberg), the self-proclaimed leader of a new social order now approaching a billion members. It talks about how an idea incubated in a Harvard dorm room and how a Pied Piper of sorts came to label his  followers "dumb f"cks" because of their blind faith and their ability to be easily led.

Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novelPage from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel
So, is Zuckerberg today's King James I?- living in an ivory tower removed from the rabble who are discontent with the mishandling of their rights? Or is Anonymous, the ones out of touch - caught up with their own press and desire to overthrow the current status quo? Weigh in readers, and let us know if you would like to see a twenty-first century version of the "Gun Powder Plot?"

BTW, things didn't go exactly as planned in 1605. Guy Fawkes, who was found in the cellar of the Parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th - was caught, tortured and executed.

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Ron Callari
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Comments
Aug 10, 2011
by Anonymous

". . . we are not harming

". . . we are not harming you but saving you." Ah, yes. Another bunch of moral busybodies tyrannizing us for our own good.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

– C. S. Lewis

Aug 10, 2011
by Anonymous

We Know What's Best for You

This isn't about freedom of information! Freedom of information is producing evidence. This is one body of people who have found themselves with a new power, which can be executed stealthily and without consequence.

Instead of an elected body acting in our best interests (which, granted, is flawed), we have an anonymous body of individuals irresponsibly using their power under no authority but their own.

This is not in the best interest of the people. Of any people. If you want to wake people up - release the information and wake them up. Don't take matters into your own hands. Our world system is flawed and must change. Despite intention, movements that act in the best interest of the people while keeping them in the dark are generally very bad things. They prey on our fears and misinformation is the key to those fears. Even if such a movement is successful and honorable, the potential for the misuse of these principles will outlive its creators.

Any one group who suggests you'll thank them later deserves to be mistrusted. Provide the evidence. Let the people decide. Making these decisions behind a different set of closed doors (these new virtual doors), one where the general population has no voice other than the one the elites (in this case those with the technical skills) say is best for them is in fact worse than the current situation (unless you can prove otherwise, which you haven't).

Ironically, yet blatantly, Anonymous offers us not a revolution at this point, but a new set of shackles and chains.

Aug 11, 2011
by Ron Callari
Ron Callari's picture

We Know What's Best For You

Interesting perspective - Anonymous is a self-appointed guardian of people's interests - but like the readers comments above note - they, like the organizations they rebel against - also need to be checked and balanced - less we want a society open to anarchy!