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Anonymous

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HorrorHiro's picture
HorrorHiro
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Joined: 27-09-11
Jan 9 2012 12:09
Anonymous

How important is Anonymous and groups like it to modern activism, protesting, civil revolts ect?

orderfromchaos's picture
orderfromchaos
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Joined: 17-10-11
Jan 9 2012 12:45

I think it's definitely worth considering the role the internet (that anonymity of anonymous itself, I feel, comes from) in modern activism.

Both the strength and the weakness of anonymous is that anyone can act on behalf of it by simply saying that anonymous is an organisation they represent. The weakness being, of course, that any ideals that members of the "organisation" express cannot be taken seriously as being from anything that could be called an organisation, even though some of the actions of people identifying with anonymous (defending the website Wikileaks and taking down a CP website, for example) can be applauded.

I don't think they are worth considering as a coherent group, contrary to the "hacker cabal" theory sold by the headline-makers. I consider it more a cultural trope or rhetoric that those with a very general anti-establishment feeling buy into in order to find strength and like-minded people.

This organisational structure has proven effective for the right-wing US-instigated Islamic group al Qaeda, an organisation that the press chooses to label as a coherent group of mujihadeen sitting in a bunker somewhere, which is clearly not the case. I don't of course mean to say that anonymous and al Qaeda have any aims in common, but their organisational structure is similar, IMHO.

Narrator
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Joined: 12-01-12
Jan 12 2012 13:19

One other point, which is perhaps a tangent, but Anonymous do have a history of none political action which basically ammounts to harrassment of people, a lot of times for random or crappy reasons. This seems to no longer be the 'in' thing with Anonymous, but its not a concrete organisation that can stop/condemn random acts of dickishness.

Also Orderfromchaos' points are spot on in my opinion.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
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Jan 12 2012 14:13
Quote:
Anonymous do have a history of none political action which basically ammounts to harrassment of people, a lot of times for random or crappy reasons

Well... I'd say more that Anonymous grew out of 4chan's much wider milieu as a means of getting out of that mindset and it wasn't a clean break (well it couldn't be, 4chan is almost certainly still their main recruiting ground for big events).

I lurked 4chan for a while back when Anonymous was just getting off the ground and it's not like they started out popular, they had to get around a lot of stick for being too serious/white knighting on what is essentially a trolling and jokes board, which meant people had to "prove" they were in it for the lols before people listened to anything about anything else. Even so, you got the lulzsec spinoff because anon were starting to sound a bit preachy.

But generally yeah the anon thing makes it difficult to impose a particular stance on your members or quantify exactly who's involved. My guess is there's a relatively small crew who do the main running and a much wider bunch who jump in as and when on anything that looks interesting. Whether the folks who got arrested were in the core group or not, who can say...

Harrison
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Joined: 16-11-10
Jan 13 2012 03:00
Rob Ray wrote:
My guess is there's a relatively small crew who do the main running and a much wider bunch who jump in as and when on anything that looks interesting.

it's just like this
http://libcom.org/library/tyranny-structurelessness-jo-freeman

jesuithitsquad's picture
jesuithitsquad
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Joined: 11-10-08
Jan 13 2012 03:31
Rob Ray wrote:
Quote:
Anonymous do have a history of none political action which basically ammounts to harrassment of people, a lot of times for random or crappy reasons

Well... I'd say more that Anonymous grew out of 4chan's much wider milieu as a means of getting out of that mindset and it wasn't a clean break (well it couldn't be, 4chan is almost certainly still their main recruiting ground for big events).

I lurked 4chan for a while back when Anonymous was just getting off the ground and it's not like they started out popular, they had to get around a lot of stick for being too serious/white knighting on what is essentially a trolling and jokes board, which meant people had to "prove" they were in it for the lols before people listened to anything about anything else. Even so, you got the lulzsec spinoff because anon were starting to sound a bit preachy.

But generally yeah the anon thing makes it difficult to impose a particular stance on your members or quantify exactly who's involved. My guess is there's a relatively small crew who do the main running and a much wider bunch who jump in as and when on anything that looks interesting. Whether the folks who got arrested were in the core group or not, who can say...

More recent events along these lines suggest that far from being behind them, it is still a very current and disturbing phenomenon. Back in October (?) elements of Anonymous involved in #occupy advocated for and carried out DOXing (publicly outing) anarchists and others who refused to adhere to pacifism. Doesn't get much shittier (and/or scarier) than that.