Netizens have been making fun of the proud announcement this month by Spanish police of “the dismantlement of the leadership of the hacktivist organisation Anonymous.” They see it as another sign of the authorities’ lack of understanding of the internet’s architecture and culture, of the gap between people and their political representatives. “There seems to be a fundamental contradiction in announcing the dismantlement of the leadership of a collective that lacks leadership by definition. Is this real ignorance or an intentional attempt to disinform?”
What’s the Big Idea?
The “anonymous” tag has been adopted by a decentralised, horizontal, and global online community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner towards a common goal and is often linked to collaborative, international hacktivism (some prefer the term online or web activism) and the promotion of freedom of speech. The notion of trying to dismantle the movement has been keeping people amused on Twitter, with comments about ‘dismantling’ the leadership of online community managers, old women gossiping in the neighbourhoods, or bankers at the World Economic Forum.