Writing In Public celebrates the art and intelligence of essays, online and in print.

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Who is Anonymous?
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Matt Hunter considers the rise of the anonymous citizen @ Zouch. It happened the other day when I was at lunch. I was walking near my office when I noticed a strange group walking north along the road. They wore all black, and had Guy Fawkes masks on their faces. An escort of bike cops shadowed them. They were orderly, quiet, contained. I’ve seen my share of protests, and this one was different.It was Anonymous.

Anonymous is an enigmatic group that isn’t a group, a symptom of our times and a manifestation of the convergence of social technology with grassroots disenfranchisement. But is it good or evil?Who is anonymous? How many comments or posts have you seen on websites where the author doesn’t give his name? The author of these posts is shown as “Anonymous”. In 4chan, a well-known breeding ground for internet memes, an in-joke began to develop: Anonymous was an actual person, with a personality, and with actions and thoughts attributed to him. This was the beginning of the Anonymous meme.

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