Most Anons are benign; however the error bars of acceptable – or fun – behaviour vary greatly by individual. In any given random sampling of Anons you will find one that feels it is funny to email or fax you horse porn at work, one who will bake you a delicious cake, one who volunteers at a charity 20 hours a week and yet another who will DDoS your website because they didn't like the colour scheme.
Anons are teenagers, they are programmers. They are judges and nurses and lawyers. Anons are sysadmins and teachers, the poor, the rich and everything in between. Anonymous may have started on 4Chan, but today there are members everywhere.
Anonymous is neither internet Jesus nor the internet boogeyman – though individual Anons may well be either or both. Anonymous is here to speak its piece, fight for its variegated ideals, and enjoy the lulz. Party hard, Anonymous. ®
1 Oldfags are individual Anons, or frequenters of Anonymous-friendly websites who have been participating for some time. The opposite of course, are Newfags. No element of homophobia is implied. Rather, Anons append "fag" to the end of a term as a sign of disrespect for those who use "fag" and "gay" as pejoratives.
2 Anonymous is often linked nearly exclusively to the /b/ section of the 4Chan image board. In reality, Anonymous occupies far more digital real estate than this one website. There are hundreds of other image boards bearing the "Chan" name, 420chan and 711chan being the most notable. There are also numerous other image boards that do not use a *Chan nomenclature. More here. Warning: not remotely safe for work, home, or anywhere else. Ever.
3 Getting banned refers to being banned from a website, forum or IRC channel. Getting vanned refers to being arrested by a law enforcement agency, frequently the FBI.
Disclaimer: Any opinions contained in this article are those of the author or those quoted, not the editorial position of The Register. We do not endorse breaking the law and we take no stance on the righteousness or otherwise of the causes espoused by members of Anonymous or any other online collective.
This wasn’t an assignment El Reg sent me on; it was one I asked them to let me publish. If it brings in new readers…good! El Reg has a collection of great writers, and it publishes news relevant to more than just its core stable of IT nerds.
If my articles are different than those you have come to expect from authors on El Reg…also good! It’s a bad thing when any news organisation has all contributors with the exact same sociopolitical leanings. The one thing I as a reader and commenttard have always loved about The Register is the diversity of opinion amongst her writers.
For every author who does not believe in anthropogenic driven climate change, there is one who does. For every establishmentarian, there is a disestablishmentarian. There are even a few antidisestablishmentarianists!
If you want the truth about why the article was written here it is:
With lulzsec running about, coverage of Anonymous skyrocketed. Much of it was blatantly wrong. Every article that was wildly inaccurate bothered me in the same way that the misuse of “you’re” and “your” does. I decided to put my time to better use than complaining about inaccuracies.
Instead, I spent three weeks talking to nearly 100 Anons, from all walks of life, on dozens of servers. I tried my best to put together the most accurate and comprehensive article on “who Anonymous is.” Target audience? Anyone who had an inaccurate understanding of Anonymous’s origins, motivations and structure.
The regularity of readership simply wasn't a consideration.
You didnt ask for my opinion, but here it is anyway!
I believe that debunking Fox News, or any other major news outlet is a really valuable thing! I think this should be encouraged, when done correctly. Why not consider it to be like the peer review process?
Many people base their worldview and decisions unquestioningly on the authority of the goggle box.(Not to be confused with the Google box; the content of the Google box is completely fine to unquestioningly base all decisions on.)
As the news outlets have so much power, and as we all know they are being selflessly run for the spread of truth and wellbeing of all, I would expect them to applaud and encourage the army of unpaid volunteers checking their 'facts' for the lulz... er...I mean: mistakes.
As a final note, Thanks for publishing this article El Reg, liked it a lot - good job!
"Greenpeckers"? With your choice of insult you reveal your own ignorance.