It’s useless to ask whether OpCartel is a fraud; wherever it came from, if it picks up steam it will be an Anonymous operation. If, as many anons I talked with have said, no one will touch it with a 10-foot pole, it simply never will become one, regardless of its origin.
I’ll be exploring how that works, and how, counterintuitively, this kind of anonymity coupled with an institutional sense of humor have made them players on the global stage. I’ll be visiting irc channels and Scientology raids, political protests and 4chan. I’ll be interviewing anons, those who study them, and those they come into conflict with.
It might seem odd that I’m covering #occupy and Anonymous together, but it’s not. Both #occupy and Anonymous are each examples of a new kind of hybrid entity, one that breaks the boundaries between “real life” and the internet, creatures of the network embodied as citizens in the real world. As one member of The Pirate Bay explained on IRC, “We prefer afk (away from keyboard) to irl (in real life). This is real life.”