Election season is an undeniably divisive time; many of us will have seen friends on social media make public statements about their political leanings that we vehemently disagree with. However, it seems that the battle for the presidency is affecting all of us, even members of the hacker collective Anonymous.
It’s being reported that the political climate is contributing to tensions among Anonymous members. The issue was first sparked last December, when the website AnonHQ posted an article delineating “Ten Reasons That Will Convince You That Bernie Sanders Deserves Your Vote.”
While some members of Anonymous were pleased to see Sanders being given this kind of platform, others were not as accepting. As is also the case in workplaces and homes around the country, there’s a clear divide between those backing Bernie, those flying the flag for Hilary Clinton, and those lending their support to Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.
This being Anonymous, frustrated members didn’t respond to the article with counter-arguments, but instead used DDoS attacks to air their grievances. A sustained series of hacks began shortly after the post hit the site, and have continued until as recently as this week, according to a report from Softpedia.
Various factions within Anonymous are blaming outside interference for these disputes, suggesting that the unrest is a result of a propaganda campaign designed to harm the group. A post on the Anon Intel Group website reads, “It has come to our attention that government agents are acting as Anonymous impostors, and that fake anon’s are using the name of Anonymous to profit financially, spreading political propaganda.”
However, it remains to be seen whether or not there are outside parties attempting to divide and conquer Anonymous. It seems more likely that the disparate group of hackers is simply home to a spectrum of different views that don’t coexist too easily.