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WikiLeaks, Anonymous, and the Exercise of Individuality: Protesting in the Cloud

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Abstract

When WikiLeaks released the Collateral Murder video in spring 2010, featuring a US army helicopter shooting Iraqi civilians, cyberactivism was not a hot topic in the mainstream media. However, thanks to the ability to leverage the potential of the Internet to influence political debate, WikiLeaks quickly imposed itself as a headline-grabbing organization. The mass media fell in love with WikiLeaks, not least because of its enigmatic nature, its organizational model based on individuality, and the juicy revelations about its frontman Julian Assange. In the wake of WikiLeaks’ major releases that year, the amorphous online network known as Anonymous also came under the spotlight, notably for its pro-WikiLeaks cyberattacks. In February 2011, a CNN journalist wrote, “Perhaps the most controversial incarnation of the WikiLeaks model comes from Anonymous” (CNN, 2011).

Keywords

  • Collective Action
  • Social Movement
  • Collective Identity
  • Affinity Group
  • Social Movement Organization

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2013 Stefania Milan

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Milan, S. (2013). WikiLeaks, Anonymous, and the Exercise of Individuality: Protesting in the Cloud. In: Brevini, B., Hintz, A., McCurdy, P. (eds) Beyond WikiLeaks. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137275745_12

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