“You mess with our children, you mess with us” was the statement coming from hacktivist group Anonymous in order to signify its intentions to begin a campaign to name and shame suspected paedophiles that use Twitter to prey on underage children.
The Anonymous operation being referred to as #TwitterPedoRing began the 4th June and has since listed hundreds of Twitter accounts that Anonymous believes are used by paedophiles. In a statement posted by someone claiming to represent Anonymous, the group accused Twitter of not acting upon the information they had on such accounts severely enough, saying; “this is a list of paedophiles that Twitter hasn’t deemed important to remove despite their affiliations with each other, their posts of children participating in lewd acts, and their requests for this sort of material. We are releasing these names in hopes that Twitter will work together with LEA in order to catch and stop these scumbags.”
This isn’t the first time Anonymous has had a direct involvement in policing alleged paedophiles on the internet. In October of last year, the group took credit for taking down more than 40 child pornography sites and supposedly leaked the names of around 1,500 members of the respective websites in an effort known as “Operation Darknet” - referring to the 'darknet', a part of the internet deliberately hidden from view where all manner of illegal activity is concealed away from the unknowing public.
Anonymous may well be an unknown quantity to us for the most part but that's not to say their recent actions and public warnings haven't got a sense of heroism and nobility to them. We'll be following the response closely.