To support free speech, or to stay away from controversy? That’s the choice facing Facebook and Twitter as they find themselves in the middle of a hacking free-for-all. On Wednesday, an anonymous group claiming to support WiklLeaks targeted the websites of companies—including MasterCard, Visa and PayPal—that have blocked Wikileaks from completing financial transactions. Now, the group is disseminating instructions to its followers via Facebook and, when Facebook shuts down its groups, complaining publicly on Twitter. Both Facebook and Twitter are hoping to build respected, stable ad networks, which puts them in a difficult situation in dealing with WikiLeaks and rogue hackers. So far, Facebook has said it will allow any activity that does not violate its terms of service, and Twitter has only deleted one of the hackers’ posts—a link to thousands of customers’ credit card numbers.
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