Awhile ago, I was reading an article about Tor, and it had said that one of the most popular “Tor hidden services” was Facebook (go figure).
I’ve known for awhile that you could use Facebook with Tor, but my question about it is that because most people use their real names on Facebook, would using it with Tor defeat the purpose?
As CheatSheet.com put it in their 2014 article What Is Facebook’s Tor ‘Hidden Service?’ Why Does It Matter?, “The world’s least anonymous social network has joined Tor, a network that enables online anonymity.” Is that ironic, or what?
The same article made this point about the service:
…according to Wired, former Tor developer Runa Sandvik explains, ‘No, you’re not anonymous to Facebook when you log in, but this provides a huge benefit for users who want security and privacy.’ She notes, ‘You get around the censorship and local adversarial surveillance, and it adds another layer of security on top of your connection.’
So, I suppose that’s the advantage of using Facebook over Tor. Plus, if Facebook is censored in your country, you would still be able to access it via a Tor connection.
One exception might be that if you don’t use your real name on Facebook, you would be slightly more anonymous than the majority of Facebook users. If you do that in combination with a Tor connection, that makes a little more sense.
For those of you who haven’t used Facebook via Tor yet, its onion URL is facebookcorewwwi.onion. I’ve noticed that there are a plethora of phishing sites claiming to be Facebook as well, but that’s the only official one.
The question is, do you trust Facebook at all? I confess that yes, I’m on it, and it’s about the least anonymous social network out there. I joined it way before I had even heard of Tor or the dark web. Maybe I’m just addicted to Bejeweled Blitz.
Early on into my Tor journey, I was using The Hidden Wiki, and they had a link to Facebook’s onion site. The description read, “Facebook(?) Claims not to keep logs. Trust them at your peril.” In fact, whoever wrote it expressed doubt that the URL was even legit. I found this a bit ironic as well, considering how many untrustworthy sites exist on Tor!
To answer the question, I suppose using Facebook via Tor is about as safe as using it on the clearnet, but if you’re trying to hide your identity, then I don’t recommend it.
You may want to stick with the other social networks on Tor in that case.