Master of Arts degree with a major in Sociology
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This study is based on a content analysis of 85 “Anonymous Official” YouTube videos posted online between January 2012 and July 2016. Anonymous is an amorphous hacktivist collective that challenges corporate media and threaten to expose political corruption and civil rights abuses in the United States and abroad. I organized the data around the Snow and Benford (1988, 2000) diagnostic, prognostic and motivational social movement framing concepts, and further analyzed the messages considering variations in adherence to anarchist conceptualizations of the State. In bringing together these literatures, this research explores Anonymous identity as a cyber-anarchist movement. I found that the Anonymous Official videos constructed a movement identity based on three major themes: censorship, government corruption and police brutality. Yet the narratives lacked a consistent articulation of an anarchist identity. The U.S. video messages primarily proposed State reform, instead of revolution. The U.S. video narratives also denounced the use of violence as a tool for self-defense in the face of State violence. In comparison, 12 Spanish language videos did not oppose the use of violence and acknowledged both nonviolent and violent forms of revolution. All in all, the Anonymous Collective remains a counter-hegemonic cyber movement in the Twenty First Century digital age.
Mejia, Yancy, "Truth or dare: anonymous-- a self-proclaimed cyber anarchist movement" (2017). Theses and projects. 23.