Anonymous is a wildly recognized organization, for many things. Most particularly, for being controversial. This organization was brought to life through the website, 4Chan in 2003. This website provided a forum for online conversations, RSS feeds, and most importantly, anonymity. Anonymous began as a group on 4Chan who attempted to pull hoaxes, pick on others, and search for ‘Lulz’. They essentially aim for lulz, which represent ethical behavior as much as an objective. This group will do anything to deliver entertainment. Through the mockery of Jessi Slaughter’s home videos, to the somewhat political attack on Scientology involving Vaseline and pubic hair. Anonymous essentially performs actions that are not always quite ethical or moral, but that they deem worthy.
This group is quite controversial because they jump full force into whatever they believe is worth attacking, but this does not always follow popular public opinion. They recognize that they are a bit absurd, and may not always do the right thing. They hide behind the Guy Fawkes mask to enforce anonymity. They have since their beginnings outlined the power and limitations of their organizations:
“it is the nameless collective and the procedures by which it is governed, which in the end prevail over the necessary biased and single-minded individual. Yet, at the same time, the individual’s ability to contribute to this communal process of the production of knowledge has never been greater.” (op-ed in The Guardian) They are able to keep Anonymous in the spotlight, being visible to all, yet maintain a very strong invisibility for the individual members.
To me, the most concerning bit is at the end of Gabriella Coleman’s piece, Our Weirdness is Free. She writes: “the international group of hackers is said to have thousands of operatives and has no set rules or membership.” They recently hacked into a database, accessing many American’s credit card information, and with that information they made donations to random charities. While the crime was done to perform good, the crime itself is not okay and does not seem to have any particular motive other than just send a somewhat vague message to America. They maintain anonymity, and essentially state and government power.