While out snow-blowing his driveway on Thursday night, Ottawa County administrator Al Vanderberg got a phone call informing him that pornography had been posted to his Facebook page.
“It’s terrible,” Vanderberg said. “It takes you completely by surprise.”
His page was hacked, Vanderberg said, and explicit links went up on his page. The “shared” posts came from another Facebook user, whom Vanderberg said he doesn’t know, nor is linked to through other friends on the social media site.
After deleting the posts and reporting the incident to Facebook, Vanderberg said he changed his password and deactivated his account.
“It’s grief I don’t need,” he said. “I have no way to know how this happened. Maybe I’ll start a new account from scratch or maybe I’m done with Facebook. We’ll see.”
Vanderberg said people have been understanding about the whole thing. A lot of Facebook users, he said, know of other people who have had their accounts hacked.
“It’s heartening that people know me well enough that I’m not going to post crap like that on my Facebook page,” he said.
This most recent hack attack is Vanderberg’s second experience with the Internet’s dark side. Several years ago, his email account sent out a mass message informing all his contacts that he was in England, in trouble and needed money.
People kept calling him, he said, asking if he was OK. Once Vanderberg figured out what was going on, he changed his password.
“It’s been a humbling, embarrassing experience,” Vanderberg said of the Facebook hack. “I’ll do my best that it doesn’t happen again.”
— Follow this reporter on Twitter @CPWhitmer.