Anonymous Social as Political

Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli

Abstract


The revolution of social media has been heralded in by utopian appeals to reinvigorate social networks and democratic politics. While many social media sites are designed for users to post images, messages, comments or preferences, these same sites are used to profile their users. With massive corporate datamining and government information gathering anonymity and privacy are quickly disappearing. This paper explores how the web gathering that calls itself Anonymous has made anonymity a political issue. I aim to show that Anonymous upsets dichotomies that are fundamental to traditional political thought and practice, like identification and anonymity, liberation and control, dissent and accountability, privacy and piracy. As a result the discourse of ethics and accountability becomes more and more entangled with politics.

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