Anonymous. Anyone who has used the internet in the last thirteen years should be familiar with the name. With targets ranging from billion dollar corporations to high profile celebrities and even to entire governments, the actions of the group have received press coverage worldwide. Because the group has taken an active stance against everything from digital piracy to terrorism, some media outlets have accused them of failing to have a clear objective. But the objective of Anonymous is actually very clear: to take an active stand against greed and corruption in all of its forms.
When you hear the details of some of the highly coordinated attacks taken on by Anonymous, it can be easy to see the group as a coordinated team of elite individuals. But that is far from the truth. In reality, Anonymous has no leader. They have no authoritative structure at all. Anonymous is simply a mask that people from all over the world can choose to wear. We live in a society that is controlled only by the elite. Until now the voices of the common man have been drowned out to suit the needs of the rich and powerful. But Anonymous can change all that. By providing a united front for people of the world to stand behind, we finally have a voice that is powerful enough to be heard. Anonymous can only succeed if we are willing to stand up for our beliefs and fight for what we deserve.
If you’re happy to fall in line and play your part in a system that has been designed to enslave you, there is nothing else for you here. But if you are tired of having to bow to the will of the corporate monopoly, then Anonymous will give you the power to stand up for yourself. If you are ready to take that first step, here are 8 ways that you can get involved in the Anonymous movement.
1. Stand for something
Anonymous can give you a voice, but it cannot tell you want to say. You need to identify something that you want to see changed in society. Consider not just what is best for you, but what is best for the entire world. Because Anonymous is not centralized, there is no specific website that you can view to learn about the causes Anonymous has taken a stance on. But there are many popular places where information is aggregated and compiled. A good place to start is one of the more popular Anonymous YouTube Channel. Here, you can find information on some of the current movements that aim to correct financial inequality, political corruption, government oppression, and police brutality. There is much more going on in the world than just what can be found on this YouTube channel, but this is a good starting point.
Remember, you need to watch more than just the eerie “call to arms” announcements. Be sure to check out information on previous actions and protests that have taken place. View documentaries that explain the issue in detail. This information is essential. You can’t win the game if you don’t know how to play. Taking the time to educate not only yourself, but also your friends and family is needed. This will help spread awareness and empower people to take action. Standing up for your beliefs is not a passive task, you need to actively share your views with people around you so that we can stand united as a population in our desire for change.
2. Disconnect from your Ego
Anonymous fights to serve everyone, but does not serve any individual. As you continue to learn, network and take action towards your goals, you need to be fighting for the needs of the people and not serving your own private interests. Figures of authority who act on their own behalf, neglecting those who put them in power are the root cause of many of our problems. The only way for us to directly address this issue is by empowering people who are able to make logical decisions outside of the limitations of their own ego. Our society caters to people who are willing to follow the herd. When you stand up for your beliefs you may be met with resistance. Not everyone will see things your way. Some people are punished or ostracized for resisting the establishment. When your time comes, you cannot back down in attempt to save face. You must keep in mind the needs of the community you are trying to serve and be willing to experience pain for the benefit of others. There may come a point where you need to choose to serve your cause at the expense of your own personal comfort. You cannot consider yourself an activist if you continue to seek external sources of gratification. The true satisfaction will come from the knowledge that your actions are selfless. Expecting to be applauded, respected or followed acts only to serve your own ego and prevent you from succeeding.
3. Connect with Likeminded Individuals
The accomplishments of Anonymous were made possible only by the power of people in numbers. While you may be able to make small changes on your own, to truly have an impact you will need to network with likeminded individuals. There are hundreds of websites and social networking pages populated with individuals fighting for the same thing as you. Become a contributing member in as many of these groups as you can. Sharing your opinions, experiences and ideas will help to grow your cause and aid members to act as a unified front. This is an incredible opportunity for you to learn more about your cause. You may learn things you were not aware of. You may begin to see issues in a new light, and come up with different approaches to tackle them. Eventually, you will be able to evolve from the planning stage and begin taking action. With the occupy movement, protects and events were held in major cities throughout the world. This is your opportunity to leverage social media to connect with people locally. Share what you have learned, and discuss ways that you can take action to meet your goals.
4. Share the Knowledge
Information is what allows us to make informed decisions for the betterment of society. While the conflict in Turkey had been publicized around the world, their Government had been committing severe human rights violations and privacy infractions in the interest maintaining favorable appearance worldwide. It was actually members of Anonymous that leaked 17.8gb of information stolen from the computer of Turkey’s General Directorate of Security. There is no doubt that these individuals took an enormous amount of risk retrieving and publicizing this information. But without their commitment, most of the world would remain completely ignorant of the terrible crimes that were being committed against innocent citizens. There may come a time where you have information that some people would like to consider private. If publicizing the information could serve to benefit society, it is your responsibility to do so. How many NSA contractors knew about the mass invasion of privacy going on within our own government? If Edward Snowden hadn’t taken action to highlight what he knew to be an abuse of the public trust, we would never have been granted the opportunity to fight for our own rights. It has been demonstrated countless times that freedom of information is the catalyst to change. If you want to wear the mask, you need to be prepared to take action when you are blessed with the opportunity.
5. Make a Statement
Although financial inequality has been growing worldwide for upwards of 50 years, the matter received very little attention until millions of people from all over the world marched on their governments under the flag “We are the 99%”. When you connected with a network of people who share the same goal and you’ve educated yourself to understand all of the factors of your issue, it’s time to let the world know what you believe in. Find an impactful way to share your cause with the world. While your group may still be small, don’t feel as if you don’t have a voice. On Febuary 2nd, 2008, 150 members of Anonymous gathered at the Church of Scientology to protest the manipulative and abusive practices of the religion. Despite the fact that they were only a small group, attempting to take on an international religion with hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal, they still took the time to show the world that they had unified over a common belief. Only 8 days later, a second protest was held. This time over 7000 people participated in 93 different cities across the globe. Even if you are a small group of people fighting for a cause not many people are aware of, your demonstration will strike a chord with sympathizers all over the world who feel that they do not have a voice. One simple statement made by your network of likeminded individuals can be the action that establishes your cause internationally.
6. Reach Out
In 2013 Anonymous shut down the websites of Visa, Mastercard and Paypal in protest of their financial blockade against WikiLeaks. People from all over the world contacted these companies to express their disagreement with the policy. It wasn’t long before MasterCard decided that they couldn’t handle the bad publicity of the policy, and reinstated credit card processing services to WikiLeaks. When a movement begins to get traction, figures of authority will have no choice but to address the issue. Politicians do not want to appear blind to the needs of the people. This is the window of opportunity where you can reach out and personally express your desire to implement change. Your voice may be just one of many, but with enough pressure no figurehead will be able to justify ignoring the needs of so many people.
7. Progress Yourself
The best way to change the system is from inside. If you are ready to step up an amplify the impact you are able to have on society, you need to put yourself in the positions where you have the power to do so. If you feel the need for political reform, consider getting an education so you can play a more active role in the government. If you want to enforce human rights, there are many agencies including the United Nations that actively work to address violations. When you spend so much time trying to highlight the flaws in a system, it can be very difficult to convince yourself to become a part of that same system. But at some point in the future you’ll be faced with a decision that can affect the lives of real people. And if you’re able to contribute to the outcome of that decision, then at least in some small way you’ve managed to do your part to make the world a better place.
8. Embrace The World
In order to fight for people, you need to understand people. While it’s simple to look back on hardships and frustrations you’ve faced personally, there are many people in the world who do not have a voice to share their problems. There are who experience crippling poverty, do not have access to education and who are enslaved by corporations or governments. If you have the resources, exploring these places gives you the opportunity to help people directly or even identify issues that were not even aware of. But learning about the world has benefits too. Each government has wildly different methods of addressing issues such as the environment, taxation, employment, and health care. Different cultures have different hobbies, foods, lifestyles and values. Learning different ways to live life better equips you to find new ways to solve problems. It’s possible that the next time you find something to fight for, you won’t have to rely on figures of authority to be the ones who make the change. It’s possible that you will have your own solution, and can share it with the world directly.
In the ongoing fight against corruption, Anonymous has been called many things. Hackers, criminals, vigilantes. But none of these names are true. Anonymous is not any one thing. It is everything. It is a quantifiable representation of our ability to make lasting changes in the world around us. It is a symbol that we are no longer willing to stand idly by while injustices are committed to our brothers and sisters. Every time somebody puts on the mask and takes even a small step forwards in the battle for their rights and freedoms, another individual is inspired to join the cause. Wearing the mask removes our individuality and strengthens our community. Are you ready to wear the mask?