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Anonymous declaring war on ISIS…. Is this vigilante approach to justice good or bad?

Posted on 26/11/2015 by Chloe Evans


Following the terrible tragedy with the Paris terror attacks last Friday, Anonymous leaked a video on YouTube declaring war against ISIS. They have warned that “(they) will hunt (them) down”, that “the French people are stronger than (them), and will come out of this atrocity even stronger” and to “Expect massive cyber attacks”. Quoting “We are Anonymous, we are legion, we do not forgive, we do not forget. Expect us”.

Anonymous is enacting a policy of vigilante justice with the intent to will find out who they are and out them through the cyber attacks. Since this announcement they have taken down thousands of ISIS related Twitter accounts. They have also released a “noob guide” that shows how people can join their efforts in taking down the online presence of ISIS. This isn’t the first time Anonymous has declared war on ISIS as they made similar threats after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. 

By Anonymous censoring them via the removal of social media and their online presence, they are helping to cripple them by curbing the dissemination of anti-Western propaganda. Social media is also the main tool that the Islamic State uses for recruitment.

Currently Anonymous is focusing on Twitter, they have been using hashtags such as #OpISIS and #OpParis so you can follow their progress. They are now flooding all pro-ISIS hashtags with Rick Astley's infamous "Never Gonna Give You Up"music video. Whenever a targeted ISIS account tries to post a message, the topic will instead be flooded with countless videos of Rick Astley.

But is the vigilante approach to justice a good or a bad thing?

Not everybody is happy with Anonymous’ decision to intervene in world affairs. Many people frown upon Anonymous’ actions.  Law enforcement officials have said that Anonymous has actually prevented law enforcement agencies from doing their job effectively and tracking ISIS supporters. They are advocating dealing with the issue by simply reporting extremist Twitter and Facebook accounts.

I believe that Anonymous are undoubtedly the best hackers in the world and there would be no-one better to fight ISIS on the cyber front. Perhaps the governments should be working actively with Anonymous, instead of decrying their actions.