Saturday, August 18, 2007

Who is Anonymous?


There's been a lot of talk around the feminist blogosphere regarding what "Anonymous" actually is. I first heard about Anonymous from someone on Second Life who was explaining the Hal Turner chronicles. Hal Turner is a pretty pathetic jerk who runs a right-wing white-power radio show. He was close friends with Sean Hannity and frequently called in to his show until Hannity started getting popular and no longer wanted to be associated with an avowed racist. At some point, Hal's activities came to the attention of folks who go by the name of "Anonymous".

"Anonymous" is the name used by an amorphous group of people who frequent several different sites on the internet: 4chan, 7chan, 420chan, Encyclopedia Dramatica. These sites are primarily used to post and share porn but they are also used to coordinate pranks. No one is in charge of Anonymous. No identifying information is used. Anyone can post a link to some site or suggest a "raid" but the only way they get carried out is if the idea seems sufficiently funny to a significant amount of readers. If it is appealing, then perhaps one person will go and do something mildly annoying to the target. If the target exhibits what Anonymous considers a reaction that is disproportionate to the level of annoyance, then they'll take it up a notch and see just how much of a rise they can get out of the target. How far it progresses past that point depends on how many laughs Anonymous thinks it can continue to get from the situation. The best thing a target can do is simply ignore Anonymous. It really is the best option available. Trust me. If you fail to heed this advice, you may wind up becoming a permanent target. You do not want this happen unless you are willing to leave off from using the internet for the next few years.

In the first raid I heard about, Anonymous decided that harassing Hal Turner would definitely result in "epic lulz" (i.e. lots of laughs). Hal posted someone's personal information on his blog and refused to remove it. To Anonymous, this act needed to be avenged. So, they went and found out more about Hal than the guy could ever have dreamed possible. After that, they proceeded to post his information all over the internet. They were able to show that he was basically conning the racists who sent him money thinking that he needed thousands of dollars just to broadcast his radio show. This did not sit well with the folks at Vanguard News Network and other similar sites. Hal instantly became a persona non grata. To be honest, I thought it was rather hilarious! The idea that someone had managed to turn his white supremacist buddies against him just amused me to no end. To this day, Anonymous is still wrecking havoc in Hal's life. I can't say I feel sorry for him at all.

As of late, several women have had their blogs raided by Anonymous. I've talked about one of them a few times here on My Private Casbah. Would you like to guess who I'm talking about? I'll give you a couple of hints. She has an extremely inflated ego. She's a (bleached) blonde. She's running for President of the United States, and her name isn't Hillary Clinton. If you haven't figured it out, you can read more about it here and here. I'm pretty sick of even mentioning these folks but, as should be expected, it involves the usual suspects whenever ridiculous rad-fems on the internets.

This post is only tangentially related to them. In some of the conversations about the recent Anonymous raids, some folks have claimed that these attacks were initiated by men's right's activists, political adversaries, et cetera. On Antiprincess' blog, I found a comment that a member of Anonymous wrote explaining who they actually are. I found it pretty interesting so I decided to post it here. I think that Anonymous represents a part of all of us that most people try to hide or get rid of. As with anything in life, inevitably, there are always going to be people who choose to nurture it instead.
Anonymous said...

"in order for the ED and 4chan folks to do their thing, they need fuel. we're it. EVERYBODY's it. men, women, radfems, MRAs, homeschoolers, Republicans, Christians, earth mamas, mild-mannered shoeshine boys - we're ALL grist for their mill, it may be just a matter of time."

In situations like this, I find that I am behooved to educate the average internet citizen on what, exactly, Anonymous is.

The first step to understanding Anonymous is to understand our mantra (I will spare you the full length of our creed and code, and summarize):

Anonymous is legion. Anonymous does not forgive. Anonymous does not forget. Anonymous is amoral. Anonymous is neither good nor evil.

Anonymous is legion: There are many anonymous people on the internet, and all members of Anonymous are anonymous, but Anonymous is not a single anonymous. There are many. While Anonymous has specific goals, individual members of Anonymous may behave erratically.

Anonymous does not forgive: Self-explanatory.

Anonymous does not forget: We have very, very long memories. Self-explanatory.

Anonymous is amoral/Anonymous is neither good nor evil: Anonymous is beyond morality and human notions of right and wrong, good and evil. Anonymous may appear cruel to some, saintly to others. Your perception of us is colored by what you believe. One thing is certain; none of us are as cruel as all of Us.

Anonymous is much like an ant colony. Remember, we are legion.

Individuals of Anonymous may act with autonomy, but we are all driven by a single, driving need: find food. Our food, is lulz.

Are you a moderate Christian who pays his taxes, loves his family, donates to charity, goes to church once a week and cares nothing for the sexual preference of his neighbors? You are not food.

Are you an intelligent graduate student who has little time to spend on the internet between working on your dissertation and your budding career? You are not food.

Are you the female CEO of a successful corporation who balances motherhood with professional advancement? You are not food.

Are you a crazed racist who runs a website, community and podcast dedicated towards promoting racism, and will you react to criticism and harassment in an uproariously satisfying fashion? You are food.

Are you a histrionic teenager who posts weepy Youtube videos of you making the audacious claim that your fringe subculture is the spearhead of a revolutionary social movement that will uproot all of society after said subculture acquires "equal rights" (whatever that means)? You are food.

Are you an insane radical feminist who believes that all men are rapists, that pornography is rape, that it is acceptable to indoctrinate your children into your rabid ideology simply because they are beginning to explore their sexuality, despite your best efforts to make them hate their own gender and their own genitalia? You. Are. Food.

Anonymous is the entity that comes to restore balance when Bad Things® happen on the internet. While individual members of Anonymous may aspire to specific goals, Anonymous as a gestalt entity only desires food.

You see, Anonymous is always hungry, and Anonymous must always feed. If you aren't food, stay out of the way.

Signed,

Anonymous


Updated on 12-16-7: Removed Ebaumsworld reference. Several Anon's have pointed out why its users clearly aren't a part of Anonymous.

34 comments:

Ravenmn said...

I think that Anonymous represents a part of all of us that most people try to hide or get rid of. As with anything in life, inevitably, there are always going to be people who choose to nurture it instead.

Thanks for the info, I was clueless about this group and their history.

Ridicule can be fun and shutting down an asshole through sheer force of numbers is a long-honored tactic in political movements.

In this case, though? It almost felt counter-productive for anyone to attack a group that identifies itself primarily by its status of victim. I think antiprincess already mentioned that.

belledame222 said...

well, counterproductive if your goal is, as the targets in question seem to believe, to really shut them down for good. otoh if your target is indeed "lulz" then in fact the added sputterings and posturings and fresh fights with otherwise sane people just adds to the hilarity. you see.

Thin Black Duke said...

When they came to my blog and started calling me a nigger, I laughed my ass off.

There's nothing like the lulz of spending your night deleting comments calling you a stupid nigger.

The only thing better is to start reading the thread where you officially became a target and see more people calling you a nigger.

But they were just acting erratically. It's all good.

Nice to know that you can go to a black man's blog and call him a nigger and excuse it by saying you're amoral.

belledame222 said...

"Irony: the all-purpose ass-cover."

Anonymous said...

We thank you for this post.

You have understood what we are for the most part about.

- Anonymous

Anonymous said...

You have captured the truest essence of us. Well done.

-Anonymous

Anonymous said...

You are breaking rules 1 & 2 but I liked your post.

Anonymous said...

You have our attention, threads are forming.

I enjoyed this reading, and I hadn't actually seen the video before.

Lulz have been had, the beast can sleep for tonight.

Anonymous said...

Nice... well summed up. I also like the fact that you have the option for us to exist on your comments:

Choose an identity

( ) Google/Blogger
( ) Nickname
(.) Anonymous

Anonymous said...

PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD

Anonymous said...

Promising newfag.

Anonymous said...

That video is win.

Your article is moderate win.

Well done, fine woman.

-Anon

Anonymous said...

The Black Duke is still a nigger.

Anonymous said...

Most importantly, remember that the internet is serious business. /sarcasm

If you want Anonymous to leave you alone, it is clearly best to react. /sarcasm

Anonymous doesn't hate you - it only wants a laugh.

Thank you for this post.

-Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Many thanks dear. You are one of the good ones.

Anonymous

Anonymous said...

This Anonymous is pleased. You have our gratitude for clarifying what the legion really is akin to.

Signed,
Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

You flatter us, we are mostly just a LARGE group of assholes with nothing to do.

Anonymous said...

We're only from Ebaumsworld.

Anonymous said...

Long-time anonymous here (3 years of anonymity with the chans thus far). I feel inclined to explain a bit further than any outsider ever could. First of all, we pride ourselves in being anonymous. In anonymity, so many barriers fall down. A picture or message posted by any anonymous person is of the public domain, and is subject to the most rapid development and evolution available on the internet. Anywhere else, you post a worthless picture, and everyone cheers you on. Everyone who posts good pictures outside of anonymity will copyright them. In the chans, the bad pictures get their just ridicule, and the good pictures get their just praise. Funny is what we aim for, and we have become rather efficient at generating lulz (laughs, for those who don't understand lulz).

We raid for more than one reason, however. I must point that out. We raid for justice. Usually, we go for the lulz, but justice comes greatly into play. When Aroudo Debito tried suing 2ch (which is from whence the chans spawned, also known as the motherchan), we raided him to the depths of the seas. There were no lulz from that which I remember, but a feeling of satisfaction in our superior justice. Sure, we do some nasty things, like myspace raids that ruin people's friendships, relationships, and sometimes worse. Posing as someone else and sending out a suicide note to that person's friends still gets me giddy as a schoolgirl.

But I must now note to you the rules. The first two rules are to not talk about /b/ (/b/ being a board on the chans, bu since you started talking about it, I'd might as well let the cat out of the bag here). This is actually the most important part of our culture, whether we admit it or not. We try to keep as few people around as possible. We post horrible things all the time, merely to get the weaker anons out and to make the strong anons stronger. We are like spartans, trained from the day we enter to the day we die to be a soldier, to be a warrior. We are such warriors of the internet.

We are anonymous. And anonymity is what allows us to make such greatness. If we went by names, then people would start worrying about other people's feelings, which would turn into what we call AIDS, or rather the cancer that is killing the internet. We may be a disease, but we are a necessity, as we destroy that which is the cancer killing the internet, thus preserving the internet for as long as we can ping a host.

Anonymous said...

I must say, I think you did a good job of remaining neutral with your commentary on Us.

Just be careful, as we have said before...you have our attention.

As for the video, the original was presented by our very own EFG.

Well done.

Perhaps there's a new recruit?

Anonymous said...

tl:dr

Anonymous said...

Well done, miss. You seem to, well, get the idea.

Flattering, unflattering, and pretty accurate. You've done better than most other people attempting a description.

Two points of clarification, though - the *chans are imageboards, and not primarily for porn. Yes, there is porn there, but it's more swapping bullshit, reposts from elsewhere, and amusing images. Porn just happens to be amusing at times. Also, ebaumsworld isn't Anonymous. First of all, they're all pansies and fags, but beyond that, they have to register, and thus, cannot be true Anonymous.

Also, we're apparently important enough to have our own button in the select identity window, here. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful bit of writing, there.

You certainly have done your research. Anonymous will be watching you.

also, tits or gtfo.

(obligatory, i hope you understand)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous neither requests nor requires excuses.

"Anonymous is amoral" is an explanation, not an excuse.

Anonymous cares nothing for your perceptions, your forgiveness, nor even your existence, except insofar as there are lulz to be had.

Anonymous hopes that this clarifies matters.

Anonymous said...

Nice to know that you can go to a black man's blog and call him a nigger and excuse it by saying you're amoral.

What makes you think they're trying to excuse it? They realize that it isn't "right," that what they're doing is "bad," they just don't care. They are disregarding basic social values because they think such things are, in many cases, excessive, misguided, or just stupid.

Anonymous said...

We are legion. We are always watching.

Anonymous said...

I think you shouldn't have broken the rules; But otherwise decent post (For a nigger.)

gg.

Anonymous said...

I don't laugh when a cat dies, but I laugh when a human dies. Humans numbers are beyond legion, beyond control. Your numbers will not stem until the breeders are thinned. That is why choas is a relevant choice. There are breeders who seem to think they have control over the universes random nature, or have a special connection to God. We are here to remind them that they don't.

~ Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Legion is not some mindless group of thugs that attacks without reason. You must provoke us, in one form or another for us to attack.

Are we really a bunch of racist, twisted people bent on ruining other people's lives simply because we can? Well, some are. But mostly we are in it for the lulz. Nothing more.

If you don't act like "food" as it was put, you have nothing to fear from us.

-Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Wow that was great. You should write our ED articles.

Anonymous said...

...ebaumsworld? I'm sorry, but no matter how good the rest of my fellow anons might find your article, this is just inexcusable.

Also, your article reeks of tl;dr. In b4 slowpoke.jpg, too

Anonymous said...

Ravennm:
In this case, though? It almost felt counter-productive for anyone to attack a group that identifies itself primarily by its status of victim. I think antiprincess already mentioned that.


There are numbers of reasons we attacked this blogger. As a member of Anonymous, I believe that attacking this member would be like taking a junky's heroin away. Without it, she'd hemorrhage herself to death.

In this case, we were taking away a person's attempt to get her dosage of sympathy. Somehow, this blogger believed that playing the victim status would always result in sympathy pouring for her.

It was only after we threatened to her sympathy addiction and the events that followed were we granted laughs.

It's analogous to a child who sobs at maximum volume when denied a cookie; in BitingBeaver's case, she'll wreak havoc until she got her sympathy back.

I could keep going on, but I'm under the impression that you under the gist of my response...amirite?

Anonymous said...

Also, targets are not random, targets are ones who provoke us.


When Anonymous say things like nigger, Anonymous does not say it to be racist. Anonymous are kinds of people; white, black, asian, martian, etc.

We simply do things to get a reaction out of you. For our lulz.

We are for free speech and the free flow of information too.

Also, since there is no actual group or leadership, many anons often disagree with each other and raids, and their is nothing uniting us except our desire for lulz.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous does not hate everyone, anonymous finds everyone amusing. The fact that people get so upset over a couple of words amuses. They take words on the internet as serious business.