The absolute first two things you need to ask yourself before trying to make an anonymous Facebook account are why do you want one and who are you hiding from? In fact, these two questions drive even the feasibility of your exercise.
A few months ago we published the beginning of what was meant to be a primer on making anonymous accounts on Facebook. For the next few months, we were besieged by people who wanted the second half of that process and thought we were holding out on them. We weren’t; the information is constantly changing, constantly moving and morphing into something even more shadowy than the personalities people wanted to make online. Part of the thing we accept in order to play in this particular section of the pool is the need to learn, to constantly watch for new information that forces a change in how we think, how we act, how we teach. The members of TOWR talk a great deal amongst themselves, about what information we are learning, how it fits into the bigger picture, what the best way to teach it is. Through it all, we have sought to answer one question every single time: Is the information we are teaching correct? If we aren’t going to teach the correct information, if people cannot trust the information we give them, then we shouldn’t be teaching at all. And while we’d have loved to come out with the second part of the Facebook series immediately, we learned a great deal of information that not only made writing the second piece problematic, but made the first one obsolete.
Sometimes it happens where we all endorse a skill, a device, even a person, and we later find out we were wrong. What should we do? Correct the record? Simply stop teaching the wrong info and hope people figure it out? Make a Facebook group plastering that person’s name all over the place? While social media groups “calling out” people seem to be popular these days, that’s not effective, and it’s not how we work. Those who need to know information we have are given it, using the appropriate channels and the correct process. When it comes to the idea of making anonymous social media accounts, this article is what I’d consider the correct process. So let’s get started. First of all: ignore the previous article on this subject because it is obsolete.
The absolute first two things you need to ask yourself before trying to make an anonymous Facebook account are why do you want one and who are you hiding from? In fact, these two questions drive even the feasibility of your exercise. Let’s take a look at various purposes for anonymous accounts.
- “I run my mouth a lot on Facebook, or I like to talk trash to certain people, and I don’t want them knowing it’s me.” If this is your purpose, you don’t need an anonymous account. You need testicular fortitude, which is outside our wheelhouse, sorry. If you were sitting across a table from me and actually said this was your purpose, I would get up and leave.
- “I want to join patriot groups as a fake name because OPSEC.” Again, this is very high on the list of reasons that should disqualify you from getting taught how to do this for one reason that will become very obvious later.
- “I don’t want the government knowing that I’m in patriot groups on Facebook.” This is not possible. In fact, I’ll say it again: It is not possible to hide from the government on Facebook, and I’ll explain this more in a moment because it needs clarification.
- “I want to use Facebook without giving up my privacy.” Nope, sorry — if you have a Facebook account, you do not have privacy. It’s that simple.
- “I want a second account to use on my phone for patriot activity coordination.” No. Even if you did make a second account and only accessed it from your phone, you’d be dead in the water BECAUSE you accessed it from your phone, and you’d screw every other person you talked to, whether or not you were coordinating with them.
If any of those reasons are why you want an anonymous account, then walk away now because they are not feasible. Now let’s look at the reasons and ways you can have an anonymous Facebook account.
- You want to use Facebook but aren’t comfortable with your boss or coworkers seeing it, or you’re interviewing for a job. This is a perfectly good reason to have an anonymous account. Keep in mind that it will not work if this is a second account; it defeats the purpose. Your best bet, if you really need to do this, is to deactivate your current account and make a fake account with a fake name that sounds reasonable (Jack McCoy, for instance, not Shiggy Sugarbottom or Jane BenghaziJones). The caveat to this is…you guessed it…no politics. Nothing. Puppy videos and likes on food posts. In fact, keep in mind that making that fake account and then adding your family and friends, by nature of the data machine, will automatically identify you anyway, as will using any device or wifi you’re already associated with to access it. You can see the issues already, right?
- You want to use the account to infiltrate a leftist group, such as a semi-local Antifa group. Now THIS is doable — but it requires some caveats as well. The people you’re up against often have skills you don’t. If you so much as make the slightest mistake, you’re identified, and then you’re toast. I say semi-local (or even far off) as opposed to very local because if you join the local group, you may be expected to actually show up in person at an event. If you have other photos of yourself on the internet (and who really doesn’t at this point) then you are easy to identify as well. This is possibly best done with a two-man team; you get into his local group and he gets into yours, and you never talk on FB, you never talk at all unless you can pull off meatspace or a message drop on some Tor-based or i2p-based message service that follows the protocols below.
- You want to use the account to use Facebook without the government knowing what you’re doing. Here’s the problem. Every single device you own, every wifi you have ever connected to with one of those devices OR done any of your normal routines on, every page you’ve ever visited, every like, comment and share you’ve ever done is part of the data package that is you. That means, if you want to be able to use Facebook while hiding from the government, you need to strictly adhere to the following:
Never use a device you have ever used before. Any device you choose MUST only be used for that particular account. So you’re literally talking about purchasing a laptop (has to be a laptop, and a specific kind of laptop, like an old refurb, that’s also been altered for this purpose) just so you can have a Facebook account on it. Is that worth it to you?
Never use an internet connection you’ve used before. That means every time you log into that account, it needs to be from a new place. This is true for tradecraft reasons as well as technical. You don’t want to get on a first name basis with the barista at the Starbucks two blocks from your house.
Never drive your own vehicle to your connection point. Also, don’t take any means that can be tracked back to you. That means, don’t get in an Uber, etc.
Never take a phone with you of any kind. No burners, no flip phone, no smartphone, nothing. Don’t wear your Apple watch or FitBit (why do you have either of those anyway, if you care about privacy so much that you need an anonymous Facebook account?)
Never dress in a way that will stand out in the specific venue and area that you’re choosing for that particular outing. In fact, put some thought into your choices of venue. If you’re 50 years old, 300 pounds, and bearded in a non-hipster way, don’t choose a venue in a trendy millennial area because you WILL stick out no matter what you wear. Be honest with yourself about what you can pull off.
Never use your debit card on these trips. In fact, I wouldn’t even take them — or anything else that can identify you.
Never connect without a VPN. We’ve covered those elsewhere; if you’re not already familiar, you’re sorely behind.
Never connect to anything you normally look at. Don’t check your email. Don’t check the hits on your website. Don’t go to websites you normally frequent. And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t sign into your regular Facebook account. There is no such thing as “just doing one thing quick.” You’re done.
Never join Facebook groups or like pages that your regular account is associated with. And while it should be freaking obvious, don’t go to that group and announce to everyone that this is your new account. Don’t message people, don’t do anything but lurk.
Never tell anyone that you have another account. For any reason, at any time. No one needs to know about it.
Never use that Facebook account to coordinate any activity, mention any areas, or mention any fact about yourself. If you need to use the internet to coordinate activity, then you are working with people who are too far away — and you don’t know them well enough to do anything with them.
Never visit any websites AT ALL while logged in to your Facebook. Don’t keep it open in a tab while you surf.
Never use a browser that is not set up to block scripts, etc. Tor is good, if you’re already following the rest of these protocols.
Never stay online any longer than you absolutely have to, in order to do the things you signed in to do.
You’ve probably read through this list and thought, “Man, what a pain!” Yup. It is a pain. If you had some idea that you could sit in your recliner naked while eating cheetos and wreak havoc on the enemy, then I’m glad I could burst your bubble, because anyone who is making Facebook accounts and has violated even one of the precepts above has not only identified himself, he’s also endangered everyone he talks to. I mentioned earlier that it’s impossible to hide on Facebook from the government. That’s true. It is, however, possible to become someone else, if you are willing to put the work in and can compartmentalize to the extent necessary. We cover this in the Internet Privacy webinar, and to some extent I’ve just explained it above.
While the list above may seem overly paranoid, it’s not. If you’ve read the Vault7 disclosures (and actually read THEM, not just read the quick summaries the establishment ‘media’ put out), or if you’ve read the rest of the Wikileaks information on the subject, then you should already be aware that the list above is the bare minimum. In fact, I wouldn’t even guarantee your anonymity if you follow the list exactly, because their capability is always changing, new surveillance cameras are always going up, and depending on where you live, you can be seen on camera more than sixty times a day. That’s not counting license plate readers, facial recognition, touch DNA, or anything else. Like it or not, the surveillance state is total, and it is oppressive, and unless you are willing to do the work, you won’t get anywhere.
In short, the question isn’t really how to set up an anonymous Facebook account; it’s whether your particular purpose is worth the money, time, and aggravation of doing it. I can’t make that decision for you; if you’ve read through this list and you are willing to make that commitment, then more power to you. If you think you can do some of the list and ignore others, then God help whoever you’re talking to, because you just put your own laziness above their safety.
If you’ve gotten all the way through and are still wondering how to make yourself an anonymous account, read it again. The “how” is in there.