[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, November 19, 2015]
The devastation of France has been written in blood all over the newspapers and cyberspace. The horrors that have occurred in that country, just one in a vast world of war, have brought out the true nature of humanity.
The United States and the world stand with France, as shown with the French colors overlaying profile photos on Facebook. But, what about Syria? What about every other country in the world we as Americans have forgotten to pray for or send thoughts to?
There is, however, one organization I’ve noticed that popped up in the news after the attacks in Paris, as well as many other international incidents and ones closer to home. That organization is Anonymous.
Anonymous is a loose global organization of activists and “hacktivists,” which are people who use the Internet as their activism platform. The organization broke major media ground in 2008 with a series of actions against the Church of Scientology and have sustained momentum by supporting international events such as Arab Spring, which has been occurring since 2011 and resulted in eight overthrown governments and approximately 400,000 deaths in places like Iraq, Lybia and Syria.
Anonymous has also been “hacktive” recently by hacking and releasing personal information of members of groups like Westboro Baptist Church or child pornography websites. In 2014 and this year, Anonymous released personal information of members of the Ku Klux Klan.
What Anonymous does is based on ideas. Anons, or group members, find events and either support them or don’t.
Anonymous recently raised its hackles with ISIS, the Islamic State claiming infamy from the attacks in Paris, when the group decided to go to war against the radical religious sect. It’s been at war with ISIS since the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, but, with the recent bloodshed, I believe the group will continue its hacking at even larger proportions.
Already, Anons claim to have taken down more than 5,000 ISIS-based Twitter accounts.
It seems warfare has changed drastically from an international perspective. While France has already responded to the attack on the “City of Light,” is it enough? Will physical war be enough to fight terrorism in the form of a radical religion? Or, can groups like Anonymous really manage to slow down that kind of hate just by removing ISIS-linked Twitter accounts?
I don’t know.
Many of us don’t realize what it’s really like to be part of something as horrid as 9/11, because it was so long ago and centralized to the East Coast. We don’t realize what it’s like to be part of the Syrian Civil War that’s been raging for four years since it’s so far removed from America. But maybe, just maybe, those “hacktivists” can really accomplish something most of us are only able to pray about.
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