Anonymous reengaged its “total war” against Donald Trump about two weeks ago, but some within the collective think the campaign is wrong, or even “cringeworthy.” One video posted on Youtube shows an Anonymous member defending the real estate mogul’s freedom, saying he has a right to free speech like anyone else. Another press release video from the group calls the entire operation off — directing the hackers towards a more difficult target.
Anonymous calls the campaign “Operation Trump,” and it’s supposed to go into full force on April 1st. Since the announcement, there have been a few minor attacks. On Thursday, the group released Donald Trump’s private information, including his social security number, cell phone number, and the contact information for his PR and legal representatives. According to Newsweek, most of that information appears to have been publicly available anyway.
But the total war started to look more like a civil war. According to Mirror, a video from “Anonymous Patriots” announced, “We are feeling deeply concern over an operation that was launched in our name. [sic]”
“We, Anonymous, have always been defending freedom of speech. We, Anonymous, are warning you about the lies and deceits pushed under our banner.”
The video did not openly support Donald Trump, but it did defend his right to freedom of speech.
“Trump has a right to his views. Just as important, his supporters have a right to hear him speak. Free speech is for everyone, even for those who want to listen to what Trump says.”
Anonymous is described as a hacker collective. There is no hierarchy, no initiation. But the group members do rally together and coordinate for various campaigns, often to defend freedom of expression. Still, there is so little control over the brand and imagery that the collective can be used by anyone, according to former member Gregg Housh speaking to ABC News.
Why did the group declare war on Donald Trump?
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the group said in a YouTube video that he was being targeted for his “inconsistent and hateful campaign,” which Anonymous says “shocked the entire planet” with “appalling actions and ideas.”
The infighting started quickly after the video was published, according to the Evening Tribune. One Twitter account wrote that it was “the most cringeworthy video within Anonymous.”
In the #OpTrump chat room, one poster said, “Don’t you think Trump has the right to speak his mind as everyone else. Even if its right wing?”
Others defended the operation, saying that Donald Trump has been causing a resurgence of “resurgence of racism and unrest.”
Anonymous did not mention a few swipes Trump took at free expression. According to Politico, the leading GOP candidate called members of the news media dishonest, and said if he won the election he would make sure they couldn’t report quite as freely as they do now.
“One of the things I’m going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we’re certainly leading. I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”
Currently, public persons like politicians have to prove media organizations published material with actual malice, with either knowledge that it is wholly incorrect or in cases of “reckless disregard.”
In another video, Anonymous calls the operation off, saying that it will put people in danger and accomplish nothing.
“We call upon the public and the entire anonymous collective to redirect in protesting the system, not just one candidate. We also ask the collective and lone wolf hackers to stray away from the planned attack on Trump’s website this upcoming April 1st. Not only will this operation endanger the collective, it will prove nothing. There is enough information via the web to prove Trump’s incapacity to become president.”
If the message has been received, Anonymous has taken on a much more difficult target than Donald Trump.
[Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images]