For a bunch of people who troll others by starting fake rumors, hack the web pages of major newspapers to post fake stories and generally spread chaos and disinformation, members of Anonymous fluster easily when someone trolls them.
Despite a rash of stories claiming Anonymous is trying to destroy Facebook – a sentiment it's hard not to sympathize with, though the mechanics and point of doing it are both pretty foggy – the hactivist group is not actively trying to destroy everyone's favorite private-data leak.
It did start encouraging people to cancel their Facebook accounts a couple of weeks ago and bragged loudly about getting 100,000 to sign off (a number that may be wrong and can't be attributed to Anonymous, anyway).
"opFacebook," the supposed effort to bring down Facebook permanently, however, is a fake, according to the more public members of the faceless federation.
anonops AnonOpsanonymouSabu The Real Sabu
ATTN Media: Don't get trolled by trolls pushing for #opFacebook. It simply does not exist. Even if we get 100,000,000 people to delete acctsGroupAnon Anonymous
Right now the bulk of Anonymi seem more interested in the riots in the U.K. and curtailing of digital communications the government may use to help suppress them and continuing attacks on police units in Italy and Columbia that were carried out by hackers running under the group tag #AntiSec, which was launched by LulzSec in May.
The opAnonymous rumor was apparently launched by a YouTube video ostensibly posted by Anonymous calling for the launch of a Facebook-killing operation to be launched Nov. 5.
The video is fake, the anonymi who posted it are trolls and the whole idea is stupid, according to many of the leading voices in the group.
anonops AnonOps AnonyOps Anonymous
We absolutely disown #OpFacebook ... We're supposed to fight for the users, not against them. Don't violate private citizen privacy please.nancy_iskander Nancy
Media accounts have failed to correct the rumor that Facebook is already under attack, which also annoys the Anonymi.
One problem the group has distancing itself from ops the majority think are misdirected, ineffective or ill-advised is that there is no central authority – only several nexuses of influence, each of which operate independently of each other, though under the same name.
Some of the Anon are more influential than others, and some operations in which Anonymi participate are not considered "official" Anonymous operations.
Keeping the differences straight in the minds of the media and public is difficult, though, especially if, as in the case of opFacebook, the "fake" Anonymous who posted the original call to action may be real Anonymi, though not speaking for the group in this case.
anonops AnonOps#OpFacebook is being organised by some Anons. This does not necessarily mean that all of #Anonymous agrees with it. rheinzeitung Rhein Zeitung
I assume what leaders Anonymous has are realizing in retrospect what the most challenging part is about running a well organized group dedicated to promoting anarchy.
Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.