I've never been a fan of Anonymous. I've always felt its hacktivist tactics hurt innocent bystanders along the way. But when they out a guy who destroyed the life of a young girl, it's hard for me not to approve. I'm only human.
Of course, the story isn't so simple, and in the end I find myself stopping short of applause.
Fifteen-year-old Amanda Todd of Port Coquitlam committed suicide last week, having withered under the constant bullying that started with the scumbag Anonymous claims to have outed. CBCNews reported the following:
Last month, Todd posted a haunting video on YouTube that cited the sexualized attack that set her down a path of anxiety, depression and drug and alcohol abuse. During her nine-minute video, the teen explains in handwritten notes that she was in Grade 7 when she was lured by an unidentified male to expose her breasts via webcam.
She says that a year later, she received a message from a man on Facebook threatening that if she didn't give him a show, he would send the webcam picture to her friends and family. She says police later told her the man followed through with his threat.
Anonymous published the name and address of a Vancouver-area man that the group claims was bullying and preying on Todd via the internet. The activist group, which often uses a caricature Guy Fawkes mask as its logo, claims the 32-year-old man has also made postings to child pornography sites.
When I think of everything this child went through, it makes me sick. Nothing would please me more than to see her tormenter outed so he can get a taste of what he did to her. It's easy to say bravo to Anonymous for outing him.
Here's why I'm not doing any of that:
--This guy ALLEGEDLY tormented Todd. A court of law hasn't determined his guilt or innocence yet.
--Anonymous has a big fire hose and sets it loose often. Sometimes, someone who deserves it gets hosed. But just as often -- if not more -- innocents like the customers who did business with the companies Anonymous targets get hurt when their personal data is spilled for all to see.
There's not much more to say about all this, other than it's awful and tragic. No amount of hacktivism will ever make it better.