Disassociated Press, 9-26-2009
Ryan Rezinski woke up this morning to find his Facebook profile in shambles.
“Someone came in overnight and just ransacked the whole thing. My favorite quotes, wall posts, photo albums…all of it’s been destroyed.” Rezinski said, fighting back tears. “I don’t understand…I didn’t do anything wrong.”
This recent attack is not an isolated incident. Over the past year, there have been multiple reports of Facebook users’ profiles being ransacked, ultimately leaving the familiar blue & white page a shell of what it once was.
The reason behind this epidemic? One needs to look no further than the large scale Mafia war that has broken out across the site.
At last count, over 24.5 million people on Facebook have joined the ranks of the Mafia. One of the requirements in gaining acceptance, and in turn more power, is recruiting your friends to become part of the Mafia. Many do accept the offer, but for the few that do not, the consequences are heartbreaking.
Lynne Wapnerson is one of those people who dealt with the consequences. “It was 6 pm on a Friday, and I got a message saying my friend Rita was offering me a chance to join her gang. Now, I’m just on Facebook to find old friends, maybe play some FarmVille in my free time. I never wanted to be part of a Mafia. So I clicked the ignore button and thought that was the end of it. Well, on Sunday, I got another request from Rita to join her gang. Except this time, she sent me a message telling me that she ‘couldn’t be responsible for what happened’ if I didn’t join up. I thought she was joking, and I clicked the ignore button again. Monday morning, I go to my profile, and everything is ruined.” Lynne’s eyes go misty as she stares straight ahead. “And my farm? On FarmVille? It was razed, completely demolished. All my crops, my cattle, everything was either dead or dying.”
Since that incident, Lynne has closed that profile and created a new one under an alias, created with the help of a government agency.
“We are taking these Mafia wars very seriously.” A spokesperson for the FBI commented. “Ordinary people who desire to live their lives in peace should not have to deal with these aggressors. We do have people on the inside, and are hoping to bring down the organizations within 3 years.”
Until then, though, how many more innocent people must lose their profiles? For some, that blue & white page is their livelihood. Notes replacing diaries; Favorite Quotes replacing the desire to have “Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most” tattooed across their shoulders; Friend Requests replacing…friend requests. “Most people just want everyone to know their opinion about Fall Out Boy,” The FBI spokesperson said, “And until we bring down those Mafia organizations to cease the wars, the FBI encourages people to continue posting and updating their profiles. There is an end in sight.”
If you or anyone you know has either been involved in the Mafia war, or has been attempted to be recruited, please contact the nearest FBI agency in your area.