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Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a loosely associated international network of hacktivists and anarchist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as "an internet gathering" with "a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives." The group became known for a series of well-publicized publicity stunts and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites.

Anonymous originated in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online and offline community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain. The group is also associated with the satirical open wiki Encyclopedia Dramatica. Anonymous members (known as "Anons") can be distinguished in public by the wearing of stylised Guy Fawkes masks.

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Anonymous has no strictly defined philosophy, and internal dissent is a regular feature of the group. Because Anonymous has no leadership, no action can be attributed to the membership as a whole.

The group's few rules include not disclosing one's identity, not talking about the group, and not attacking media. "Members" commonly use the tagline "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."


  • In 2012, Time Magazine called Anonymous one of the "100 most influential people" in the world.
  • Contrary to what some websites report, the mask worn by Anonymous has nothing to do with Alan Moore or his graphic novel (which later became a film), V for Vendetta. As mentioned above, the mask is associated with Guy Fawkes.

See Also

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