If you haven’t heard about Snapchat by now, I have one question for you, that rock you’ve been living under, is it comfy? No, but seriously, what is happening right now with Snapchat is a combination of Facebook is 2009 and Twitter 2007. In other words, it is all anyone will talk about.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you have for sure heard of the operations carried out by the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous time and time again in recent years. They are they ones that have taken down thousands of ISIS-related Twitter accounts. They also received press for acts such as threatening to expose the names of thousands of KKK members; taking on NSA over censorship of free press; hacking government sites that don’t support LGBT rights, and more. On smaller scales, they have been known to use their Internet wizardry to combat police coverups; track child predators; and find evidence to support victims of assault cases. Pretty impressive stuff, right? But who are they?
The Complex Web of Anonymous
- A member notices that something wrong is going on
- Other members check to see if the problem can be fixed using the Internet
- An operation leader steps up, gathers troops, and organizes the operation
- Maybe create a video detailing the cause and outlining the plan of attack
- They maybe organize a protest or two
- Members disband from the operation and never talk about it again.
Some of the members might join forces for other operations. Others might just leave. The amorphous nature of it all is pretty fascinating. Are you wondering if they can be stopped? Don’t bother, the answer is no. Authorities have busted members a few times here and there, and those members were quickly replaced by several more.
Characteristics of Anonymous
According to Brian Kelly, there are three characteristics that tie-in with Anonymous:
- An unrelenting moral stance on issues and rights, regardless of direct provocation
(Makes sense, because they usually fight against large groups for the greater good)
- A physical presence that accompanies online hacking activity
(They go out and talk about their missions with their videos, social updates, newsletter, protests, etc.)
- A distinctive brand
(Their use of the Guy Fawkes mask is no joke. The logo with the question mark, suit, and tie- woah. And their tagline is so creepy: “We are Anonymous, We are legion, We don’t forgive. We don’t forget. United as one. Divided by zero. Expect us.”)
I guess most of us don’t have to worry about being attacked by Anonymous. We can sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show. But if you’re doing something wrong- some kind of injustice using the Internet- THEIR INTERNET…. oh Mister… as Stephen Colbert once said, you’re “sticking your penis in a hornets nest.”
And by the way, they are generally good to the media. They love being in the press. They love being in the headlines. That’s because they proudly stand behind all that they do, and want everyone to know that they are doing it.
The Origins of Anonymous
Operations and Shenanigans
Anonymous can’t stand hypocrisy. They don’t like it when the US Government practices what they say is illegal for others to do. The government has repeatedly done DDoS attacks and shut down sites. When regular people did so, they were prosecuted. This was especially the case when people would use software for such attacks, but it was always totally okay for the government to it, and Anonymous did NOT like that. Despite being harshly punished by the US government (10 years in prison,) DDoS attacks are viewed as “virtual sit-ins” by Anonymous. I guess it goes without saying what they did to different US government sites to teach them a lesson, haha.
There was one point they even overthrew the Egyptian government. Mubarak had shut off the Internet in Egypt, which was a major no-no. Anonymous instructed people on how to get the Internet back by setting up virtual networks that cannot be shut down by the government. They even went as far as helping people send out tweets. Same in Tunisia. And China. And many more countries.
On a smaller scale, Anonymous assisted citizens in a series of high-profile cold cases, coverups, and police brutality cases. They also launched crusades to uncover truths behind assaults, and reported their findings to authorities accordingly.
We have all experienced it. Someone does something on Facebook or Twitter and you find yourself thinking “Who does that?!”
I don’t blog nearly enough. Between Twitter, Facebook, meetings, work, family, and the rest of life, blogging seems to have taken a back seat and I hate that. I would like to say this post will change that and I will go back to writing as often as I used to, but unfortunately, I don’t know if that is going to happen. I promise I will try.
I have been using my Apple Watch pretty heavily since I purchased it soon after it came out. It took a little bit of getting used to, but I loved it from the get go. That reminded me of how much I loved my very first smart watch, the Pebble Classic. I previously wrote about how I found the Pebble Classic to be a total game-changer, and as you can see now- it was indeed.
Rewind a few weeks back, and I am sitting with a friend who is building a startup that involves drones. Drones were something I always knew would appeal to me and my geeky side, but never really considered buying one, until that day.
I have been thinking about this trend way before Meerkat was a thing. In fact, I believe it first occurred to me before Twitter was a thing. Now before I explain why I think the trend is clear, let me state that I do not believe that each link in this chain replaces the one that preceded it. I believe that each stage remains relevant but its relevancy decreases as the new stage enters.
There are many advantages to having an active blog. In fact, I wrote a whole post about why everyone should blog. Branding, traffic, relationships, and so many other reasons people should be generating content of some sort on a regular basis. Over the years however, I discovered one more perk of blogging.
Ok, listen, I have done my fair share of legendary interviews. From Om to Woz to Alyssa to Vic to Andreessen, and many many more! Twitter has been monumental in helping me form amazing relationships across the globe and I have zero intention of slowing down. Zuck and Marissa, I am looking at you. I will let you choose who goes first.
If you are active on the social web, surely, you get this question a few times a week, at the very least. “How do you find the time to be everywhere? I mean there are so many platforms out there and you seem to be active on all of them. How do you balance it all?”
If you have not heard of Meerkat, I have one question for you. How are we even friends? I kid, I kid (partially). But seriously, I have not seen this much buzz about an app since the last Israeli internet sensation, Yo.