Facebook will go down in a big ball of Internet flames on Nov. 5, never to return. Or, on second thought, maybe it won't.
A purported member of the Anonymous hacking collective has launched Operation Facebook, a plan to obliterate the social networking giant on Nov. 5.
"Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world," the narrator says, in the same digitally altered voice used in all of Anonymous' online videos. The video attacks Facebook's general lack of privacy and the fact that the company holds on to users' information even after they delete their accounts.
On Nov. 5, the narrator promises, "your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed."
The Operation Facebook video, which ends with a vow that "one day you will look back on this and realize what we have done here is right," has been viewed more than 800,000 times.
Choosing Nov. 5 as the day of Facebook's demise is not a coincidence — it's Guy Fawkes Day, the anniversary of the discovery of a plot to blow up the British Parliament, and referenced in the movie "V for Vendetta." During public demonstrations, Anonymous members often wear masks worn by the movie's hero.
But will anything happen at all on Nov. 5, or is Operation Facebook a hoax, a plea for attention from a lone wolf hacker?
On Anonymous' main Twitter channel, @Anonops, the group denies any involvement with Operation Facebook and urges the worldwide media to ignore the story.
"#OpFacebook is just another fake! We don't 'kill' the messenger. That's not our style."
Kelly Hodgkins from tech site Gizmodo summed up the story this way: "Essentially this is a turkey without a head. It's possible some members of Anonymous may try to attack Facebook. But without the blessing and organization of Anonymous' chief operators, it's doubtful Facebook will be scratched, much less destroyed."