by  November 14 2011 Examiner.com

Update here as at 17 November 2011

 Facebook users have been inundated with images of graphic brutality and pornography for over a week, and the onslaught has many asking the question if this is a delayed attack originally set for November 5th by the online hacker group ‘Anonymous’.

What started out as a trickle of inappropriate images showing up on Facebook walls and news feeds last week has now turned into tidal wave of images depicting self mutilation, sexual intercourse, bestiality and extreme violence from profiles located around the world.

The attack is exploiting the new photo-enhanced layout of the website, which now places full images in the newsfeed of users when a friend comments on a photograph – even if it is to detail their distaste or disgust, it forces the photograph onto the news feeds of their friends.

The attack on the website has been linked by many to the online hacker group ‘Anonymous’ who in August made threats of shutting down the social networking site for apparent grievances over the monetization and distribution of personal information.

The threat was first launched via a Youtube video that laid out the reasons and terms for their targeting of the Facebook website.

“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 video stated.

Although the terms of the attack, and what effect it would have on the Facebook website were never detailed, the past success that ‘Anonymous’ had in taking down sites belonging to Paypal, Visa, and Master Card gave them clout in their threat.

With the deadline having passed for the attack against Facebook, many are wondering if the wave of distasteful and shocking content permeating the website may be linked to the underbelly of the ‘Anonymous’ collective well know for the calculation of these types of attacks.

Many members claiming to be a part of ‘Anonymous’ regularly frequent the 4chan website which is used to coordinate attacks against individuals, websites and entities and houses a bountiful collection of off colour, adult and offensive content created by its members.

In July of 2007 members claiming to be a part of ‘Anonymous’ hacked into the account of a Myspace user seven times and peppered it with large amounts of gay pornography.  The account was then used to send out a virus to 90 contacts of the victim which resulted in the destruction of over 30 computers due to the infection.

According to one Facebook user, and mother of two teenagers, the images that she has seen on her account and that of her children should be of extreme importance to Facebook administrators.

“Children as young as 13 are able to open an account on Facebook,” said mother of two Stacy Keeting “and the last thing any parent needs is to try and explain to their 13-year-old daughter why those types of images are there, what they mean and how inappropriate they are on Facebook.”

“Some of the images go beyond even what most people could imagine in their minds as being possible or having happened between two consenting adults,” added Keeting.

Until Facebook is able to manage the problem correctly, parents are being advised to keep their younger children off of Facebook or to monitor their usage and possibly intercept the images before their children do.

As for adults on Facebook, they are being encouraged to report all offending images, groups and profiles as spam or for inappropriate content to help site administration locate and remove all the offending material, and to not comment on any of the photos.

At the time this article went to print, ‘Anonymous’ has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack.

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