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Expect UsOnline Communities and Political Mobilization$
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Jessica L. Beyer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199330751

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199330751.001.0001

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Carnival to Mobilization

(p.26) 2 Anonymous
Expect Us

Jessica L. Beyer

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 focuses on the emergence of Anonymous as a political actor. It addresses the question of why Anonymous members first mobilized in 2008 and includes information about how this community became politically active. This chapter argues that Anonymous became involved in political activism because the technological spaces of 4chan.org and other Anonymous posting board systems—particularly extreme anonymity, lack of regulation, and shocking content—created a highly cohesive online community with a history of collective online activities of questionable legality and morality. The history of organized community activities granted Anonymous members a sense of capability that empowered them to take on the Church of Scientology in 2008.

Keywords:   Anonymous, 4chan.org, Scientology, politics, hacktivism, protest, information politics, online community

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