Be prepared Facebook users, on November 5, the social networking site might not be available.
In a video posted allegedly by the hacktavist group Anonymous, the social networking giant known as Facebook is being targeted for a takedown. The group claims Facebook is guilty of spying on users, cooperating with authoritarian governments and abusing people’s privacy.
Facebook fans need not worry just yet. According to the official Anonymous Twitter feed, the video is not representative of the group as a whole and might not happen. If the date is any indication, however, Facebook should not take this threat lightly. The group, known for donning Guy Fawkes masks (also known as the mask from the movie V for Vendetta), is scheduling the attack on the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ attempt in 1605 to destroy the British House of Lords with a hoard of underground explosives.
As a college student when Facebook first hit the scene, professors, parents and advisors always warned me that if the post wasn’t safe for a future employer’s eyes, then it wasn’t safe to post. Now as a PR professional, that warning remains the same. If you wouldn’t be comfortable with your employer, your client or a member of the media reading it, then it’s probably best not to post it.
Since Facebook opened its login page to the public there have been a number of instances of employees being fired due to their posts on Facebook, including in 2009 a Swiss insurance worker being let go for surfing the site during a sick day.
The spread of networking sites has given many organizations (Intel, IBM and Kodak) cause to implement social media policies informing employees of what they can and cannot do online in regards to the company they work for.
In a world where news spreads faster than you can refresh your browser, sometimes it’s too late to hit the delete button. It’s important to remember when faced with the question of ‘What’s on your mind?’ to answer with care.
— Melissa Heidel is an account executive at Airfoil Public Relations, a high-tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.