“You do not fight ISIS on the internet, you defeat them through unity”
In a curious corollary to this weekend’s grim events in Orlando, the hacktivist collective Anonymous has vowed to lay down arms (fingers?) in their online war on ISIS. After an Anonymous member decried the conflict as silly, the group’s “official” Twitter feed sent out this tweet: “You do not fight ISIS on the internet, you defeat them through unity in stead [sic] of creating the division they want.”
And so ends a months-long conflict that Anonymous called a war—but many pegged as a feud. It officially started with a video issued after last November’s terror attacks in Paris. In it they declared (translated from French): “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go,” they said. “We will launch the biggest operation ever against you. Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared.”
Even earlier, however, there were other battle cries. Following the Charlie Hebdo massacre last February, Anonymous took down a bunch of ISIS Twitter accounts and doxxed some email addresses and Facebook profiles. This was also a tactic that they used on the Ku Klux Klan during the Ferguson protests.
When you have two groups shrouded in as much secrecy as Anonymous and ISIS, it’s hard to say how much damage the conflict exacted. Dazed points out we haven’t seen much action on the hacking front besides some silliness here and there.
It should also be noted that, even though @YourAnonNews boasts 1.6 million followers, many members of the collective do not feel the account speaks for them. There have been various communication rifts over the years—in the case of this truce declaration, there are already dissidents:
An “official” video announcement seems likely to follow.