Why Anonymous Is a Joke

One of my favorite television shows right now is the USA Network show, Mr. Robot. The show depicts a hacker named Elliot joining a group named fsociety to take a business conglomerate that secretly controls everything. I enjoy the show due to its acting, writing and cinematic production quality, but other people enjoy it for its parallels to real life. However there is one comparison people make that drives me insane, and that is when people try to say the hacker group, Anonymous is the real life version of fsociety.

Anonymous is a loosely associated group of hacktivists that is known for their organized publicity stunts and their distributed denial-of-service attacks on various websites meaning they overwhelm the website with traffic from multiple sources making it inaccessible.  The group emerged in 2008 gaining notoriety with their attacks on the Church of Scientology known as Project Chanology. They then continued other “attacks” on groups including the KKK, ISIS and have even claimed to have hacked NASA. Members are distinguished by their Guy Fawkes’s mask like the one the protagonist wears in V for Vendetta. There can be many comparisons made between fsociety and Anonymous. This includes their purpose and their use of a movie mask as the symbol for their group. However there is one major difference: fsociety actually does stuff instead of just trolling their targets.

Anonymous is celebrated by many, but I have no idea why. None of their operations have led to a positive outcome or any outcome at all, and Project “Chanology” is a great example of this.

The attack was organized in response to the removal of a video by the church featuring an awkward interview with Tom Cruise promoting Scientology. The group than organized various DDoS attack, black faxes and prank calls. A major problem from the beginning is that these illegal attacks on the Church could actually assist it with them shaping it as an attack on their religious freedom. While trolling the Church on the internet would provide a great inconvenience, it was not going to shut them down. However, they did start to lead legal protests against the churches, including attempts to highlight corruption and disprove their tax-exemption status. However, even now their attack on Scientology declined, because they got bored and switched on to something else, which the very similar to their other operations in that they don’t rarely result in anything at all, or information .

They just want to stir public reaction, and they do not care at all about actually doing anything. On my Facebook page, memes from their pages pop up on my news feed, and my favorite is the one that says “a cure to cancer has been discovered, but the government doesn’t want you to know.”

While that would make sense why don’t they leak the information on to the internet to the public already to hold the government accountable? It frustrates me that people I know are so eager to glorify a group whose only goal is basically to seek attention. However, it is understandable.

The idea of an actual hacker vigilante group sounds exciting, especially in an age where one of our favorite forms of entertainment depicts vigilantes fighting against corruption. With that in mind we still need to be hesitant and skeptical when groups like these emerge. They are still run by humans and can be just as corrupt as the government and just as evil. We need to ask if they are accomplishing anything, and if they are, what is it they are accomplishing, and is it for the greater good of society.

There are 2 comments

Leave a Reply