Curbing Cyber-Speech: Facebook Page of the Pink Chaddi Campagin Hacked with fetus pix and deleted


While the world was watching the Academy Awards, some disgruntled hackers decided to pull the plug on the Pink panty campaign—and add some offensive content.

In google-time, the pink Chaddi phenom travelled around theworld. A group of women calling themselves the Consortium of Pubgoing, Looseand Forward women started a Facebook group that reached 51,000 members in nearly 2 weeks. The consortium got thousands of women to send Pink chaddis to a right wing fundamentalist leader on Valentines day—to tell him and others that women were going wherever they wanted.  On the 14th, the fundamentalist fuddy duddy was put in protective custody along with a fewhundred followers.

It turns out not everybody liked the idea of women asserting their right to pub-crawl--as well as defacing the group’s facebook site with nasty trollish remarks, hackers shut it down.

“At about 11PM IST on 23 Feb, we faced our second security breach in less than a few days,” reported the administrators on Facebook.  The hack-tivists, made their own protest by changing the group’s name to "Pro-Abortion, Baby Killing Feminist Whores and Manginas". Hackers replaced the posted pix with an image of a decapitated and de-limbed baby complete with attached umbilical cord. The speech Bad-hackers didn’t like—hundreds of discussion threads—were simply control X-ed.  In a version of  cyber-banishment, The Consortium of Pubgoing, Loose and Forward women was made private so no one else could find them.

It's not the first case of hacking speech.  In January, a similar thing happened to pro-Gaza groups on Facebook-apparently carried out by a group calling itself the Jewish Internet Defence Force. They removed content, putting up statements supporting Isreal and slamming Hamas.  As with yesterday’s hack,  the Gaza groups' pix were replaced with the JIDF logo. In a similar vein, Palestinian hackers messed with  sites belonging to the US Army and the NATO Parliament’s

One of the Chaddi administrators wrote on their site, “Our assessment is that the very functionality that affords Facebook its ease of use, communication and collaboration and makes it such a compelling destination for so many millions also renders it vulnerable….I would cheerfully consign what I now call Faecesbook to the compost pit it so richly deserves.”

The Pub-going women acknowledge they have many opponents in India—who also hide behind anonymity.  The culprit of the nasty hack, they surmise, is farther afield: “ We assess that our latest crop of attackers is from the US. Their nuisance value here is far, far out ofproportion to their scant numbers and their relevance in Indian polity.” 

This is a new face of globalization:  men in North America going to the trouble of harassing women half-way around the world—in what is not even their fight. 

On-line protests are physically safer, but every protester needs a back up. Now a digital one.

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