One branch of the infamous hacker collective, Anonymous, has announced an upcoming operation: #OpSallieMae. Student loan debtors across social media platforms found themselves imagining their loan debt wiped away, and the hashtag is getting a lot of attention as those suffering under student loans beg the hackers to go forward with this operation.
#OpSallieMae was first mentioned only Wednesday, but the first announcement has had hundreds of retweets and favorites, and has been mentioned and quoted thousands more times.
— TheAnonMessage (@TheAnonMessage) January 14, 2015
The twitter account behind #OpSallieMae was recently suspended, after tweeting threats to Iggy Azalea and MTV. The related issues, as well as others (such as identifying the wrong officer in the Michael Brown shooting, and promising, then backing off, on purported evidence that Darren Wilson is a member of the KKK) lead some to wonder whether #OpSallieMae is another operation that will see no follow-through, but the account has also been connected to the release of accurate information, and has taken credit for hacks that have occurred. Furthermore, when the account was restored nearly two weeks ago, it issued an assurance that the admin behind the Iggy Azalea threats no longer has posting access.
With that said, will #OpSallieMae delete student loans? Anonymous hasn’t said, but a glance at the mentions shows that thousands hope so.
— Jamal Press (@JamalPress) January 15, 2015
— happy. (@T_Spell) January 15, 2015
— AfroSamurai (@NaijaNupe_) January 14, 2015
Anonymous hasn’t offered any context for #OpSallieMae. Operations by the hackers are usually based on recent events, and Sallie Mae has a few of those — Ed Central reports that a former CEO is part of a Federal corruption probe for allegedly providing an illegal political loan, and Law 360 reports that several students are suing for what they say were illegal late fees. One or both of these may have prompted #OpSallieMae, but so far, Anonymous hasn’t said.
Anonymous also hasn’t said whether #OpSallieMae will result in the deletion of any student loan debts — that’s merely speculation on the parts of hopeful social media users crushed under student loan debt. A lack of context for #OpSallieMae hasn’t stopped the hashtag from going wildly viral, though, as thousands hope that the Anonymous hacker collective’s next action will eliminate a financial responsibility.
[Photo: Joshua Davis]