4chan Chronicle/Hacktivism

(Sept 2009 – Apr 2010)

The impact of Chanology and the media attention it got separated Anonymous as a group from the chanverse that gave it birth. With a much more passive (or ineffective) /b/ sustaining the Legion reputation, Anonymous came to be led by activist hacker groups. The last important action that came from 4chan’s notion of Anonymous was February 2010’s Operation Titstorm, the culmination of a series of bad vibes between the Internet and the Australian government that attempted to censor it, taking its origins from Operation Didgeridie.

From then on, almost all actions performed against any organization or government that attempted to attack free speech, piracy, or relevant matters were perpetrated by hacktivist groups, all claiming to be part of Anonymous. While activists posted image collages on the chans, detailing their raids and calling for action, the practice went out of fashion, and soon the whole collective came to be populated primarily by hackers. With Operation Payback, 4chan would slowly fade out from being the main cause of most Internet warfare, with various groups taking the spotlight. The previous Anonymous splinter group, the /i/nsurgency, faded into obscurity as most of its members grew out of it. The new hacktivist group Anonymous would proceed to attack government sites, Visa, MasterCard, and others in retaliation to the censorship attempts during Operation Payback and WikiLeaks’s loss of funding during Operation Avenge Assange. However, 4chan’s /b/tards weren’t completely inactive, as they proved in 2009 by filling YouTube with porn and getting moot selected as TIME’s Person of the Year and rigging the poll so it would spell “marblecake also the game”.