Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wrong? Who Me?

Following my post on conspiracy theory and my current rant on bad memes, I posted this on Facebook.

"Westboro Baptist Church, you know the guys who protest funerals and are going to protest at the funerals of those who died at the bombing, have had their FB page highjacked by Operation Anonymous. It's hilarious."

I will be honest here (thanks Tiffany), I didn't do my checking as I should have.  I blame George Takei because I was more or less following his lead on his post.  Now I would point out that I did not use the word hacked in the original post, but being honest with myself and everyone else, it is what I thought. I got called on it and was told that it might be a fake page.  

Only then did I do my research about the news.  The Westboro Baptist Church Facebook page was not hacked, but it was hijacked. Well, actually, their brand (name) was hijacked. For those of you who don't know Westboro Baptist Church is the group, I hesitate to use the word church, that protests funerals of soldiers and even threatened to protest the funerals at Newtown. They have also announced their intent to protest at the funerals of those who died in the Boston Marathon bombing and have blamed the bombing on same sex marriage.  They became a target of a group of hackers loosely known as Anonymous or Project Anonymous.  According to Huffington Post they did have a couple of Twitter accounts taken over in December. I don't support hacking but if anyone deserves it, it might be Westboro.  

Anonymous is a real group of "hacktivists" who are marked by their videos of people wearing the V mask.  They did announce their intent that they were turning their attention to the hate groups and have specifically identified Neo Nazi groups and Westboro.  They are actually several different groups of hackers that band together under the single name.  

At any rate, I have been doing some checking.  Two sources which I know little about announced shortly after the hijacking said the page had been hacked.  CWZ or CyberWarZone reported it  as did Citizen on Line. But after more checking it did come out that hacking is not the word should be applied.  Mother Jones reported that the excitement of the hack was not what happened.

Anonymous squatted on the page name and then unveiled it today.  This allows them to create posts appearing to go back for months.  Brandjacking is another term for this squatting, so alas, Westboro was not hacked. The page on Facebook, however, is one worth the look.  I was wrong in thinking or saying it was hacked. It doesn't make the page any less hilarious. 

(Thanks to Tiffany and Andrew for reminding to do my homework!)