Last night’s insomniac perusal of the Internet brought me across this post. Okay. So. :huffs an angry sigh:
We’ll start with the fact, and I’ll be up front about this, I’m not that big a fan of Anonymous. When I read and/or hear about an Anonymous DDOS attack it doesn’t strike me as a group fighting for the greater good, but rather a group of nerds and geeks who are still bitter at the popular kids and wanting to get back at them for every swirly they’d been subjected to over the years.
According to their Wikipedia page, Anonymous is focused on fighting “Internet censorship and control.” These are not horrible things to be focused on. SOPA and PIPA, two bills proposed by the US government in 2011, looked to rein in the freedom of the Internet with the end goal of protecting the profits of massive entertainment and news outlets. In general, the two acts looked to put walls up around the Internet to prevent people from travelling the cyber highways to foreign sites they could download content from before the Powers That Be were ready for said content to be available. That’s a horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE idea. Not protecting the artists – and if the two acts were aimed towards protecting the artists maybe my opinon would be different (or at least more flexible) – but the two acts seemed geared more towards protecting the corporations. And that? That’s a horrible idea.
So, preserving a borderless Internet? That’s a good thing.
However, the methods Anonymous uses are…distasteful to me. To say the least. Their methods are unsavory to the point of bullying. As the first link clearly shows. What could have been a productive start to a conversation, one that actually addressed online misogyny and talked about who is actually creating the rules governing the Internet, ended up as punches thrown back and forth between the feminist crowd and these self-proclaimed Internet police and quickly devolved into a riot of online activists.
Bullying, whether between the Alpha crowd and LGBTQ teens in high school or among the Twitter and other online elite, is unacceptable. And bullying is unquestionably what ends up happening whenever Anonymous rallies its followers against the “feminazis” or any party questioning Anonymous’ goals and methods.
Whether you find yourself on the side of Anonymous or Anonymous’s oposition, hopefully if I’m friends with you we can all agree that bullying is a horrible way to achieve any goal. It didn’t work when we were in the fifth grade, it shouldn’t work as (nominal) adults.