When one of Anonymous’s self-declared leaders tweeted the launch of an anti-Gamergate campaign on Friday, he wasn’t just announcing a new cause for the Internet’s most hyperactive vigilantes.
He was admitting, if tacitly, that online vigilantism has its limits.
Both Anonymous and Gamergate are, after all, vigilantes of the highest order, each policing “bad” Internet behavior and righting unjust Internet “wrongs” through a system that, at its best, pushes back against corruption … and at its worst, devolves into a senseless, pitchfork-wielding mob.
Both groups began on the shadowy message board 4chan before spilling out into more mainstream channels. Neither has a formal leadership, a cohesive agenda, or any set list of beliefs or demands. Both have deployed the same tactics against people they don’t like: publishing their personal details (“doxing”), threatening them on Twitter and other social networks, ruining their personal reputations in a process called “Google-bombing,” and attacking their Web sites until they come down.
Christopher Doyon — who online “prefers to be addressed as X” — doesn’t quite see it that way, of course. The self-described “Internet freedom fighter” revved up the #OpGamerGate hashtag to some buzz on Friday,
>promising to out Gamergaters who harass women and to help victims stay anonymous online. When the operation launches officially later this week, “X” said, it will provide moral support, and potential legal evidence, for women and girls who have no other way to confront their trolls and attackers.
MY GOD THEY HAVE LITERALLY BECOME THE "M'LADY" WHITE KNIGHTS YOU ONLY HEAR ABOUT IN SATIRE
Also why didn't I get the memo about Anonymous having a leader?