Remember, remember, the fifth of November.
Better get all that Facebooking done before the end of the weekend. Renowned hacktivist group Anonymous has pledged to take down Facebook on Guy Fawkes Day — Monday, Nov. 5 — unless the closely affiliated gaming company Zynga agrees to back off on plans to lay off 1,000 employees.
(PHOTOS: Guy Fawkes: Who Is This Guy, Anyway?)
Calls for the shutdown come after the San Francisco–based makers of FarmVille announced a 5% cut to their workforce and the closure of their Boston office, according to Wired. The magazine estimates that the struggling company could save between $15 million and $20 million through the cuts.
Anonymous posted a YouTube Video in which they announced their intention to bring Facebook down and make many Zynga games playable for free. The video has since been removed, but the statement remains posted on the group’s website:
Zynga customers and Facebook users , We are anonymous . During the last few days anonymous has been targeting Zynga for the outrageous treatment of their employees and their actions against many developers .
We have come to believe that this actions of Zynga will result in massive layoff of a thousand people and legal actions against everyone that speaks to the public about this plan. It will also come to end of the US game market as we know it as all this jobs will be replaced in other more convenient financial countries. With a billion dollars cash sitting in a bank we do believe that such actions are an insult to the population and the behaviour of corporations like Zynga must change.
Anonymous could not allow this to happen so it’s starting to release confidential documents we have leaked on this plan As we speak we are planning to release also all the games we’ve taken from their servers for free.
That being said we will stop the idea of the distribution of such games if Zynga will cease immediately the plan.
The relationship between Facebook and Zynga is quite symbiotic. Zynga dominates the social-gaming market, according to the Daily Mail, with hugely popular games including FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Words with Friends. It also accounted for 14% of Facebook’s total revenue, the Daily Mail adds.
Guy Fawkes was a Catholic conspirator arrested for plotting to blow up the English Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605. He’s become something of an icon for Anonymous activists; their trademark Guy Fawkes masks — based largely on a design used in the graphic novel and 2006 film V for Vendetta — have been widely adopted by other protesters.
Guy Fawkes Day, on Nov. 5, is a popular British holiday that commemorates Fawkes’ arrest, and it’s also a popular day of action for Anonymous: they threatened to close down Facebook on Nov. 5, 2011, too, although without success.