Anonymous : Who They Are, What They Want, and Why Some Should be Worried
We are Anonymous, We are Legion, We Do Not Forgive, We Do Not Forget. Expect Us.
Who is Anonymous?
Anonymous is an international group of 'hacktivists' (a blend of hackers and activists) that formed back in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan. A website associated with the group describes it as "an internet gathering" with "a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives".
Fueled heavily by the Occupy Wall Street Movement, Anonymous represents both online and offline users who feel that the world needs to change, and that the United States has become a country powered by the few, the rich, and the greedy.
Although Anonymous tries to maintain a solely online presence, "Anons" (group supporters of Anonymous) have been seen at protests during OWS, the trial of Trayvon Martin, Brown vs Ferguson protests and more. These Anonymous supporters can be identified by their masks, known as Guy Fawkes masks,
Anonymous has also been responsible for raids, invasions, activism, protests, and public defamation, via both legal and illegal means, with both good and malevolent intentions. Under the blanket of modern technology, Anonymous believes that they are correcting civil injustices.
Anonymous is most well known for using viral videos to alert the public of their plans, their qualms with society, and their purpose, Anonymous has been able to make a household name for themselves. Through these videos, Anonymous makes it clear that they are not superior, they are not unique, but rather, they represent the voice that goes unheard in this country on a daily basis.
They represent you and I.
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
What are your opinions on Anonymous?
What Does Anonymous Want?
Anonymous has no strictly defined philosophy, and internal dissent is a regular feature of the group. The goal of the group is to bring awareness to global issues that are being ignored, being hidden, being overlooked, or threatening society as a whole.
Anonymous has hundreds of YouTube videos that draw attention to a wide array of issues, ranging from the Arab Springs to Isis to laws threatening to comprise our constitutional rights as human beings.
Anonymous is not led by any single individual, there is no board of executives and no one in the group is any more important than another member. The group claims that anyone can join them if they share Anonymous' desire to change the way America, and the world around us evolves.
Gabriella Coleman, an educator, anthropologist and author wrote this about the group: "In some ways, it may be impossible to gauge the intent and motive of thousands of participants, many of who don't even bother to leave a trace of their thoughts, motivations, and reactions. Among those that do, opinions vary considerably."
What Has Anonymous Done, and What Do They Claim They Plan to Do?
When Anonymous steps out of the shadows to make a public statement, which they do only when they have warned the other party and have seen no change, they tend to do so via YouTube videos and Twitter statuses.
A List of Just Some of the Anonymous Operations as of Winter, 2014:
- Anything and Everything Dealing with Censorship, Especially Internet Censorship
- Operation Habbo - Aimed at a Social Media Site
- Anonymous versus Stand Your Grand - A reaction to the murder of Trayvon Martin
- Anonymous versus Israel and Palestine
- Anonymous versus the West Borough Baptist Church
- Anonymous versus the Banks
- Operation Ferguson - Anonymous versus the County of Ferguson after the killing of a young black male by a white cop
- Operation Republic of Ireland - Anonymous versus Water Charges in Ireland
- Anonymous versus the New World Order
- Operation Mexico - Anonymous and Operation Sky Angels
- Anonymous verus Isis
- Operation Hoods Off - Anonymous versus the KKK
Although no one knows per se who makes up the group, thousands upon thousands have joined their cause and work to spread the messages Anonymous shares, which is how they have become so popular.
This is the Most Recognized Symbol of the Group Anonymous
Who Should Be Afraid of Anonymous, if Anyone?
Anonymous is without a doubt a threat to those who they deem as corrupt. Since the beginning, Anonymous has stated that they are peaceful, rational and do not mean harm, but that if violence becomes needed, then violence it will be.
Much like Malcolm X, Anonymous believes that words have power, but that not everyone is willing to listen. In 2010, they forecasted that civil unrest would only continure where it already had started, that it would start where it previously hadn't, and that nations upon nations would end up at war with themselves and each other due to corruption, misuse of power, and greed.
Currently, Anonymous is waging war on the Ku Klux Klan and the two have been waging war via the web for days. As tensions rise in Ferguson, Missouri in ight of the Michael Brown trial, protests ensue in Ferguson, and now protestors on behalf of Anonymous are fighting against white-supremisists the Ku Klux Klan, outing members identities and taking over their social networking sites.
At the same time, Anonymous is in Mexico fighting corruption, as well as fighting against water charges in Ireland, and the terrorist group ISIS.
In 2012, Time magazine labeled Anonymous as "One of the Most Influential People (or Bodies) of the Year". While some choose to refer to them as cyber-age Robin Hoods, others see them as cyber terrorists.
However you choose to view Anonymous, the answer is yes, people should be afraid of Anonymous. And to the answer of who, my answer is all of us.
Anonymous Versus the Ku Klux Klan
© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal