Internet group Anonymous has taken over the twitter account of the Ku Klux Klan, a USA white supremacy group.
The story stems from Ferguson Missouri, where in August of this year Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer named Darren Wilson. This event has led to civil unrest in the form of peaceful protests in Ferguson that have been ongoing since the shooting occurred. Last week the KKK began involving themselves in this racially charged issue. Responding to the presence of these protesters, the KKK began issuing nebulous threats of violence, the leader of the Missouri branch going so far as to refer to the protesters there as ‘terrorists, not protesters‘. Among his other claims made to a local newspaper were that the protests in Ferguson have done much to recently boost their numbers.
In a video released to YouTube, Anonymous declared that they are not attacking the KKK for their beliefs, as Anonymous has always stood on the side of freedom of speech, but are instead reacting against to a threat of physical violence against ‘our brothers and sisters’ in Ferguson.
In response to this, Anonymous began doxing members of the KKK this past Friday and posting their findings on the internet. The entire leadership of the KKK was posted to pastebin some days ago. But even lower level members of the KKK have been doxed, and photographs and screengrabs of their social media presence have begun appearing online, often attached to the hashtag #HoodsOff, a reference to the fact that the KKK has always operated using the anonymity of white hoods and robes. As well, Anonymous began DDOSing the KKK’s websites. The response by the KKK was to call Anonymous cowardly, refer to them as ‘wannabes behind a screen’ and to make the claim that they would not act. Earlier today, Anonymous took over the KKK’s twitter account, replacing their avatar image with Anonymous’s own iconic suit wearing question mark.
Doxing as a form of online harassment has been receiving a lot of press over the past few months. In the coming days it will certainly be interesting to see how the public will react to the doxing of members of a hate group.