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‘Beneath This Mask There is More Than Flesh, Beneath This Mask There is an Idea’: Anonymous as the (Super)heroes of the Internet?
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8391-5606
2019 (English)In: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, ISSN 0952-8059, E-ISSN 1572-8722, p. 1-28Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Who is Anonymous? What is the group’s connection with hacktivism? Can we speak of an Internet group consisting of new ‘e-Robin Hoods’? Do modern heroes still exist as a source of inspiration? The answers to these questions are not unproblematic. Many would say that the group Anonymous falls into the contemporary hero category. If so, its members, Anons, could be deemed ‘reincarnations’ of the mythical Robin Hood but in digital form, since they tackle corruption, repression, and injustice, as he did. Others will disagree with this view. The only safe statement is that Anonymous constitutes a global, Internet-based social movement of mostly young and dissatisfied people who have decided to follow their own strategy to oppose established global governance and order. This paper sheds light on the latest hacking activity of Anonymous against several governmental websites in Greece. According to Anonymous, it sought to protect/defend Greek citizens suffering because of the financial crisis and to teach a ‘strong lesson’ to the elected politicians in office. Drawing on material from videos (uploaded on YouTube), online articles from Greek newspapers, and a few online articles from international media outlets, we attempt to understand whether Anonymous follows the long tradition of Robin Hood by acting as a heroic figure/icon. This paper contributes to the semiotics of hacktivism, but also to the further investigation of the identity of Anonymous as comprising ‘new Robin-Hoods’ based on its staged identity and actions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2019. p. 1-28
Keywords [en]
Anonymous, Hackers, Hacktivism, Robin Hood, Internet
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Computer Science; Computer Technology; Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74714DOI: 10.1007/s11196-019-09615-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-74714DiVA, id: diva2:1326435
Available from: 2019-06-18 Created: 2019-06-18 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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