Franz Kafka in the 2020’s: The Hacking Incident of June 2024

Background: The Hacking Incident

In early June 2024, the Earth Organisation for Sustainability (EOS) faced a severe hacking incident on its Facebook Page. This page, used to publicize events, lectures, and social activism projects, had a following of 1,707—smaller than our main group but crucial for community outreach. As a registered non-profit in Sweden, we maintained multiple admins to ensure transparency and community involvement.

During the attack, hackers compromised two admin accounts. These malicious actors invited fraudulent accounts as new admins and attempted to claim the EOS page through Meta Business Suite multiple times. The final takeover was evident when the page’s content abruptly shifted to lewd films, completely unrelated to our mission of sustainability.

Meta’s Response: An Exercise in Frustration

In the aftermath, I submitted two complaints to Meta: one for the personal hacking of our admins and another regarding the page’s capture. Both chats ended quickly, directing me to report the page as hacked. Despite providing proof of our organization’s legitimacy, including our Swedish registration ID, Meta offered no further assistance or follow-up after numerous reports.

A significant change was the disappearance of the support chat. It became apparent that support access had been restricted for accounts not fully verified, despite our use of two-factor authentication. This led me to subscribe to Meta’s services, hoping to regain support access and resolve the issue. Unfortunately, Meta’s support remained unresponsive, leaving us feeling as if they sided with the perpetrators rather than the victims.

The Anti-Social Network

Reflecting on Facebook’s evolution, it was once a vibrant platform for organizing and connecting like-minded individuals focused on sustainability and community building. The site facilitated group recommendations and friend suggestions, fostering a bustling exchange of ideas.

Today, with approximately 3 billion users, including an estimated 150 million fake accounts, Facebook groups are increasingly infiltrated by scammers and bots. Our page is not an isolated case; many others have been similarly compromised. The lack of effective support in such a vast network only encourages further fraudulent activity, undermining the platform’s integrity.

Suggestions for Improvement

Based on our experience, we offer the following recommendations to Meta:

  1. Founder Protection: Ensure that founders cannot be easily removed by other admins.
  2. Co-Admin Bots: Introduce bots with limited rights to prevent hostile takeovers, similar to systems used by platforms like Amazon.
  3. Verification for Page Claims: Require documentation proving the claimant’s association with the organization behind a page.
  4. Content Monitoring: Implement automatic reviews when a page’s content drastically changes, indicating a possible hijacking.
  5. Community-Based Support: Enable trusted users to act as support within their networks, allowing for a decentralized and democratic approach to assistance.

Conclusion: A Cautionary Tale

Our current focus is on reclaiming our page or, if necessary, starting anew while using this experience as a warning to others. Although having multiple admins was a vulnerability, it is unjust to suggest that victims share responsibility for such breaches, much like blaming someone for an assault based on circumstances.

If Facebook’s support continues to deteriorate and fraud becomes more rampant, the platform risks losing its value as a genuine social network. The prevalence of AI-generated content and bot-driven interactions, epitomized by pages like “Farmer Girl,” highlights Facebook’s current challenges. Organizations may soon find themselves devoting more resources to preventing takeovers than fostering real engagement.

Is this truly the direction Mark Zuckerberg envisions for Facebook’s future?

You are needed

If you’d like to support us, please report the now-compromised EOS page and its inappropriate content to Meta.

To further support our mission and stand against those who seek to silence us, consider supporting EOS projects like the Umeå Biodome and the PC game project Climatopia. Advocacy for a sustainable future is crucial.

For more information and to support our work, visit our Patreon.

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