So who are you? What are you? What are your goals? Where are you heading? How do you see the world changing? How do you see yourself as an actor in whatever events you predict?
I’m a quiet, humble, and generally very shy person. That is, when I am not on the internet. Online, I’m outspoken, disagreeable, and prone to make wildly dramatic gestures. I am a Science Fiction junkie and a computer nerd. I was the kid who everyone thought of as a bad ass hacker genius in school. I wasn’t and still am not. That’s roughly who I am.
I created an anonymous message board in 2002, when I was in high school. I was threatened with lawsuits and punished in other ways. Every kid in school became too afraid to post anything, so I shut it down. I’ve written online in some form or another since 2001, but only this year have I had any significant readership. This is almost entirely due to AnonNews. That’s roughly what I am.
My goal is simple. I want Anonymous to look at itself critically.
Powerful organizations and individuals clamp down on the lives of the general populace for their own gain until the people rise up. It’s an endless cycle. I see the influence of communication technology quickening the pace of this cycle for both sides of this struggle. I’d say that this time, the people have the upper hand. That’s how I see the world changing.
My part in it all is hard for me to understand. I am compelled to write, and I don’t stop to wonder why. I do, however, wonder why people still read what I have to write. Perhaps it’s just because I keep spamming it on AnonNews. Maybe, just maybe, Anonymous secretly wants a conscience. I don’t think there is anything wrong with questioning the rightness of everything they do. To tie this in with my previously mentioned goal, I’ve got to ask: Has Anonymous become more critical of itself? I don’t really know. Anonymous hasn’t been around all that long, and I’ve been around for even less time. Still, I will mention Westboro Baptist and Sony, because they’re two cases, since I’ve been around, where Anonymous has criticized itself. I don’t know if Anonymous has ever denied DDoSing web sites before, but I think it is at least worth noting.
“…Anonymous has many of the characteristics of any other cult. The propagation of Anonymous is perhaps unique to the internet and also to history. I don’t know how informed or interested you are in Anonymous, but it is really of great interest to me.
Describing Anonymous is dicey and there aren’t a lot of good terms. By participating in large scale Anonymous message boards participants alter their own personality somewhat and lose their inhibition. The resulting group action is wild.
Concepts out of science fiction are worshiped by Anonymous. Members claim to be part of a hyper-conscious entity that lives in cyberspace. They often repeat a dogma that Anonymous will awaken humanity and lead the way to a better world. Of course, this is where the cult alarms start going off in my head. Still, Anonymous often postures itself as anti-cult. Anonymous is well known for protesting against Scientology and defacing the Westboro Baptist’s web site (godhatesfags.com). I see this as a way for Anonymous to deflect their own knowledge that they too are a cult…”
That is an excerpt from an e-mail I wrote, seeking the wisdom of someone smarter than myself. He agreed that it sounded cult-like, the way I described it. Not all Anons hold these beliefs, I know. It’s still important though, to be self-critical and conscious of the outside world’s view. Let me quote Wikipedia’s definition of Anonymous, which cites Chris Landers of the Baltimore City Paper.
Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is an Internet meme originating 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain.
So what’s the harm in coming off a little cultish? Appealing to the need each person has for meaning and purpose is only natural, of course. Well, I’d take a hard look at the significance of the movie V for Vendetta and the motto of Anonymous, even if they’re used tongue-in-cheek. I won’t forget that the combination of even a little bit of self-righteous ideology and the wrong imagery is a recipe for violence. To ignore that fact would be terribly naive. I hate to think of what damage one off-balance person with a Guy Fawkes mask and the wrong ideas could do to the lives of real human beings. If I could do just one thing for Anonymous, it would be to make their most important message non-violence.
Those are the best answers to your questions, No-one. Except for one. You asked where I am heading, and I have no idea. I leave that one for Anon to answer.
I’d like to make note of the role my friend Ol’ Brutus has played in these events. He’s always suffered more than I have for all this shit–in school, as well as at present. He was an instrumental part in the Anonymous message board in high school and even more so for the Chronicle. Nothing I have done would have been possible without him.