2 thoughts on “How Anonymous began fighting rape and rape culture

  1. There are a number of interesting tensions at work here. One is between state-based solutions to rape/rape culture and popular, democratic solutions to these things. Anonymous is at some weird point between or beyond these types of solutions. It seems to be genuinely undecided about which type of solution it supports (and, of course, they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive).

    Another tension is that concerning anonymity itself, which seems to promote either extreme honesty or extreme mischief. What do we know about Anonymous as an organization? Are they anonymous to one another, or only to outsiders? How do they build up the close-knit communities of trust that seem to work best for developing and maintaining non-hierarchical organizations?

  2. Some stories about Anonymous have made me do a dance for joy, and some have made me /headdesk at their ignorance and enforcement of privilege. So they’re definitely a mixed bag as a whole, and I’m sure individually there are some awesome activists as well as some pretty terrible people in that group. They’ve been able to catalyze public attention on really important issues, but they’ve also tormented and harassed people who don’t deserve it. Hacktivism can be an incredibly beautiful tool when used to fight seemingly-untouchable systems of power, but when it joins the culture on the side of the privileged, it can get real ugly real fast.

    I guess like all vigilantes, they are trying to accomplish something we think our social structures have failed to do, but there is always the risk that they will make a bad judgment call and do as much damage as the broken system is capable of.

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