I have mixed feelings about Anonymous, the vigilante hacktivist organization that wields an enormous amount of power, and for the most part, they use that power for good (according to my politics): They’ve gone after ISIS and they’ve done some real damage, taking down over 5000 pro-ISIS Twitter accounts and doxxing recruiters. They went after the Westboro Baptist Church for its homophobia. They’ve gone after Scientology, al-Qaeda, and they’ve gone after those who have supported anti-immigration bills. They’re a force for “good,” if your politics aligns with theirs. There’s lot of echoes of Anonymous in Mr. Robot, obviously. I guess my concern is what they might be able to do with their disruptive power if their politics shift. It’s the kind of organization you wouldn’t want to fuck with, and that in and of itself has the effect of suppressing speech. The fact that I feel a little afraid even to write that illustrates my point.
For now, they’ve put Sam Pepper in their crosshairs. Sam Pepper, you might recall, posted a “prank” in which he kidnapped his best friend and staged his own fake murder in front of his best friend. His best friend, not knowing it was a prank, screamed, wailed, and begged for his own life, and for a few minutes, thought that he had actually witnessed his best friend being shot in the head.
It was beyond fucked up.
We've been notified of a sick, disturbing video uploaded by @sampepper. Yet again, he uses violent abuse to garner subscribers.— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 1, 2015
BULLETIN: Sam Pepper has exactly 24 hours to take down the video titled "KILLING BEST FRIEND PRANK" or he will incur the wrath of Anonymous.— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 1, 2015
This video must be taken down. @SamPepper you have been warned. You have 24 hours or we will unleash fucking hell on you.— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 1, 2015
This is something that we cannot stand for. This so-called prank should bring shame to the YouTube community for supporting this imbecile.— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 1, 2015
You have three hours left. Comply or you will be punished. Shall we start with your address…? @sampepper— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 2, 2015
Your life is essentially ruined. https://t.co/WObI9nFXuu— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 2, 2015
Anonymous was true to their word, too. They defiled his website and took it offline. They released his address and phone number, posted a picture of his house, and more.
Well, seems whatever bug we've injected into @sampepper's Twitter is working. "Turn on notifications because I get a lot of DMs…" xD— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 2, 2015
Don't worry Sam, it's just…"a prank".— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 2, 2015
The YouTube video is still up, by the way.
Glad you enjoyed the show…more to come. We're not over with you, @sampepper. We're just beginning.— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessages) December 2, 2015
I guess they’re not done, and that’s kind of terrifying for Sam Pepper, and anyone else who goes against Anonymous.