One thing you will often hear people tirade about online is freedom of speech. Which the online collective has taken two steps further and applied to pretty much any online activity. An internet person will defend their right to post pictures of mutilated puppies as much as their right to criticize a political leader. Actually, scratch that–they’ll defend internet puppy mutilating much more so.
Another thing the online collective has taken onto the meaning of freedom of speech that you won’t find anywhere else: the right to be anonymous. Not only do they have the right to post mutilated puppies, they have the right to do it anonymously.
While the necessity of being anonymous can certainly be argued for certain groups, such as Anonymous, the right to be is another issue entirely. Internet groups and people have about as much right to be anonymous as I have to mutilate puppies. Even if I want to mutilate puppies with all my heart and soul, and believe it to be my unequivocal human right–it’s not. (alright, I’ll stop with the puppy comments).
Rights aside, do anonymous internet groups accomplish anything constructive? What do you really know Anonymous for, besides being anonymous, and wearing masks from a mediocre movie? Anonymous may engage in some grey hat activity, but for the most part, they engage in malicious and destructive attacks. Despite statements to the contrary, the group is basically 4chan’s–a site known primarily for its pernicious douchebaggery–user base attempting to develop a brand name for themselves.
Organizations like WikiLeaks certainly have their problems, such as drama with their employees (Assange) and obsession with certain entities (United States), but at least they have a clear portfolio of accomplishments, and a high profile status that gets people talking.
What about the individual then? Surely the poor lone warriors of the internet don’t deserve to be crushed by the massive government predators hunting them down? In reality, with some exception in oppressive countries experiencing revolution, the entire anonymous internet is composed of…well, I could give you a long list, but I’ll sum it up with: privileged, fainéant, self-entitled decadents.
Now, one’s trash is another’s treasure, sure–but human beings don’t live in their own sovereign realities (yet), the actions of any one person have a ripple effect on the entire planet. It may not directly interfere with me when an Internet Warrior breaks into a morgue and has “relations” with the dead bodies, but there are many ways this behavior ripples outward. (Ex: they get caught by night janitor, janitor gives up on human race in disgust, goes and murders his next door neighbor, which is me typing this article.xoauou.,u)
Certainly, every person’s behavior is their responsibility and no one else’s. But so long as we live in an interconnected society, apathy to others’ destructive actions will lower the planet’s collective odds of surviving. Online behavior is ‘real life’ behavior and that’s a lesson more people are going to continue learning the hard way.
The internet is not a private fantasy land of no consequence, if you want that, invest in virtual reality research or play video games. Actions taken on the internet still have consequences in the real world. Sure, you may be able to get away with calling FaggotFreddy4x92 a retard and then posting several thousand penises, or you may not–either way, forces of destruction must eventually face the fact that their behavior will most often end in self-destruction.