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Oppose ISIS, but don't credit anonymous

By Mal Fletcher - posted Friday, 11 December 2015

The underground hacking confederacy known as Anonymous announced this week that it will launch an 'Official ISIS Trolling Day' on December 11.

Its goal, it says, is to 'mock [ISIS] for the idiots they are.'

The old adage 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' notwithstanding, we should be wary of supporting a group of digital vigilantes who answer to nobody but themselves, yet wield considerable power.


Having already launched attacks on several hundred ISIS Twitter accounts, Anonymous are calling on social media users to join the mass-trolling of ISIS platforms.

Doubtless, many people will add their voice to these protests using the hashtag #Daesh. A high proportion will do so because of a passion to see ISIS/Daesh defeated; they will not intend their involvement to send any signal of support for Anonymous per se.

This is important. To give Anonymous recognition may only encourage in them a belief that they have widespread support and credibility for their other activities.

Most of us will welcome any effort to shut down communication between terrorists - and between extremists and their potential recruits. However, when it gets involved in political issues, Anonymous is often more naturally aligned with the promotion of anarchy than activism.

The distinction between the two will grow increasingly important over the next decade, as the digital economy and our individual engagement with all things digital continues to grow.

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will add an entire world of new opportunities for the delivery of services, both corporate and governmental. Millions – and in time, billions – of micro-devices will be built into everything from your garden sprinkler system to the food packaging in your refrigerator.


Globally, we already have more devices hooked up to the internet than we do people linked to the internet.

Some of these connected devices, built into machines, will trigger the automatic re-ordering of worn-out parts. Others micro-processors built into window shades, solar panels and even clothing, will initiate automatic responses to online weather forecasts.

Alongside the IoT, big data analytics will help to improve traffic flow in large cities, boost economic forecasting and sharpen the accuracy of opinion polls on important civic issues.

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This article was first published on 2020PLUS.NET

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About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

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