In response to the recent attacks in Orlando, the hacker collective known as Anonymous took up the fight against ISIS on Twitter, according to the BBC. A number of outspoken terrorist group supporters use social network platforms such as Twitter to spread a message of hate to a wider audience.
A hacker affiliated with Anonymous and known as WauchulaGhost, decided to speak up and stand for the victims of the Orlando attack in the best way he knew how — by jacking Twitter accounts. In an interview with CNN, WauchulaGhost claimed he hacked over 250 ISIS supporter Twitter accounts and filled them with messages of gay pride.
WauchulaGhost replaced pictures of ISIS flags with rainbows and changed profile pictures to pictures of happy gay couples. In many cases, he left his signature by changing the Twitter handle to “Jacked by a Ghost.” He designed some twitter accounts to appear as if the owner is coming out to the world as gay, an act that would surely enrage the jihadist militant group.
Online attacks and hacking efforts against ISIS are relatively new, and have been an active objective of Anonymous for just over a year. The recent Twitter offensive was in direct response to the attacks in Orlando. WauchulaGhost told CNN that in response to the loss of innocent lives, “I just felt there’s something I could do against the Islamic State to defend those people.”
The goal of hacking these Twitter accounts is not just to cause humiliation. The targeted accounts face immediate Twitter scrutiny because of the hacking, and in most cases are suspended as a result.
Twitter has a standing policy to suspend accounts that promote terrorism, yet some claim the company is slow to do so at times. Anonymous hopes its efforts will speed up the process and force Twitter to suspend these types of accounts more quickly. The hackers obviously do not mind taking illegal steps to accomplish their goals and are satisfied that the end justifies the means.