This should not come as a surprise, but Anonymous is probably not going to rid the world of terror with its myriad “ops.” In fact, the latest reports indicate that the leaderless pack of hacktivists is not only incapable of disrupting ISIS, it seems like Anonymous is totally fucking this one up.
It’s been a week since Anonymous declared war on ISIS. Before long, multiple factions launched disparate attacks on the violent terrorist organization, the vast majority of which were attempts to shutter ISIS-supporting Twitter accounts. The big problem with these efforts is the fact that Anonymous is actually targeting a lot of people that have absolutely nothing to do with ISIS, so much so that the assault is starting to look vaguely racist and somewhat xenophobic.
Almost all of the 5,000 or so Twitter accounts that Anonymous has identified in a “HowToHelp” document have already been suspended, according to Ars Technica. But whoops, these lists are actually sort of bullshit. Ars reports:
Another list of about 4,000 accounts posted by Anonymous members and reviewed by Ars includes Twitter accounts that have posted messages sympathetic to ISIS, but in the majority they are not specifically ISIS. Some are actually those of Palestinians, and others appear to be accounts “trolling” ISIS. Others appear to be merely accounts in Arabic.
Even Twitter says that these lists of alleged ISIS-loving users are “wildly inaccurate.” The microblogging platform is well aware of the ISIS threat and the extent to which the terrorists use Twitter to spread destructive propaganda. However, smart people with a better understanding of the ISIS threat are waging their own campaigns, and Twitter has a review team with moderators fluent in Arabic who are dedicated to shutting down ISIS accounts.
Again, it’s hardly a shock that Anonymous decided to save the world and did more harm than good. The hacktivists have done this many times before, and they’ll probably do it again. Just remember to be skeptical when you see an emoji-laced declaration of war go viral on YouTube. Be very skeptical.
Top art by Gizmodo.