Anonymous Illustrates An Important Ethics Lesson: Unethical Jerks Do Not Become More Ethical Because They Find Someone More Unethical To Oppose


Anonymous, the  juvenile, arrogant and criminal ” hactivist collective” of self-glorifying anarchists, has finally identified a group undeniably more despicable than it is: ISIS. On the flawed theory that annoying the enemy of their enemies will be sufficient to make those enemies think the Anonymous vandals aren’t the destructive jerks they have proven themselves to be, the activist hackers are calling on the rest of us to follow their lead by making December 11 “ISIS Trolling Day.”  This will be a day, declares Anonymous, for Americans to mock ISIS with memes and disrespectful pictures of dead members of the terror group, to use the hashtags #Daesh and #Daeshbags while posting images of goats to with captions referring to the goats as ISIS members’ wives,

What a mature, clever plan. This may be even more effective in countering terrorism than this…

M Obama selfie


The real purpose of Anonymous’s  sophomoric, absolutely useless  gesture (and not even a funny one, as treating ISIS like this…

..would be) is to get normal, non-pimply faced, non-basement dwelling, non-nerds with Messianic complexes to follow Anonymous. It’s a transparent ploy to give Anonymous credibility, power, publicity and support, as if the group’s members  are not the low-grade cyber terrorists they are.

Says Anonymous (you can read all of its silly ideas about “fighting” ISIS here. I recommend using your time more productively, like by picking your nose):

“[O]n December 11th we will show them that we are not afraid,we will not just hide in our fear, we are the majority and with our strength in numbers we can make a real difference. We will mock them for the idiots they are.’


Let’s make December 11 “Ignore Anonymous Day.”

[As a side note, while looking for Michelle Obama’s brave , devastating and substantive strike at Boko Haram above, I came upon this...


…Now THAT made me laugh.]

27 thoughts on “Anonymous Illustrates An Important Ethics Lesson: Unethical Jerks Do Not Become More Ethical Because They Find Someone More Unethical To Oppose

  1. I’ll say it again: the group that uses Guy Fawkes masks as their icon immediately lose credibility.

    But yes, these individuals garner such soft support because it’s such an easy meme to support: there’s no risk for the average American teen “rebel” to pretend like they are part of some grand revolution against the “man”…

    I wonder if they’ll be using their computers made by “the man’s” system when they do this.

    I would however, support “troll Isis day” if part of trolling Isis meant lining up every bomber in strategic air command, wingtip to wingtip and returned Raqqa to the dust from whence it came.

  2. Anonymous supporters are ideological idiots. Theirs nonsense is prepackaged “solutions” waiting for the appropriate problems to apply the solutions.

    This particular plan of theirs reminds me a little bit of Obama’s problem solving skills: Obama has proven over the past seven years that he has absolutely no interest in finding the root cause of problems, his method of problem solving is to throw a barrage of his intellectually superior ideology at the problem until the problem agrees with him. It’s like watching an Emergency room full of bullet ridden patients bleeding out all over the floors and the Doctor is arrogantly telling everyone that he is right for ordering everyone to apply band-aids. This method of problem solving ignores the root cause of problems and without dumb luck it will never work.

  3. ““[O]n December 11th we will show them that we are not afraid,we will not just hide in our fear, we are the majority and with our strength in numbers we can make a real difference. We will mock them for the idiots they are.’”

    Yeah, they can say all that because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. When pushed or confronted with the need to do violence themselves, I have a sneaky suspicion these anonymous pussies will melt away like a snowman in Texas.

    That’s a symptom of our comfortable culture- we all know we’re soft but we want to say we’re doing something to “fight” without actually fighting. You see it everywhere, which various movements and solidarity campaigns. I bet the hyper-strict branch of the Islamic faith really learned their lesson after everyone changed their Facebook image to the French flag. Good job guys! did anyone notice how rapidly the Facebook warriors changed their icons to the American flag after the recent attack? Crickets… Crickets…

    But I digress.

    • Oops. I seriously considered removing pussies in favor of cowards but hit send before going back to edit it.

      Sorry fellow readers who may have been offended by that ounce of crassness. I don’t like using that terminology and did want to edit it out.

    • “That’s a symptom of our comfortable culture- we all know we’re soft but we want to say we’re doing something to “fight” without actually fighting.”

      Apt and accurate. Social media has made the practice ubiquitous.

    • Anonymous is kinda like those annoying little dogs that bite at your heals and then run with their tail between their legs when you turn and face them.

      Our world has Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs in it; I was born to instinctively be a Sheepdog and will remain a Sheepdog until the day I die.

  4. I’m not a fan of Anonymous, but there are worse ideas than demeaning and mocking ISIS. In absolute terms, ISIS doesn’t have a huge amount of power. They control a moderate amount of territory which has been bombed to absolute Hades and back over several decades of on-again off-again simmering revolt and murderous dictatorship, have manpower numbering in the tens of thousands, and some wealthy funders. If we were to freeze their resources in amber, they’d be a pretty successful terrorist organization, but not even the equivalent of dynamite-throwing anarchists in terms of impact on western civilization. (Of course, ISIS has been an absolute disaster for the Middle East, and the poor benighted buggers who had the miserable luck to be born there recently, but short of invasion and colonizing the region there’s not much we can do about that.) ISIS’ biggest weapon against the west is propaganda and shock – spurring a massive kulturkampf, with shades of Huntington’s clash of civilization. It’s the way they recruit. To some extent we have to fight this kulturkampf unless we want to just resign ourselves to periodically getting blown up. However, the best way to oppose an apocalyptic view of the future is with a combination of asserting our own values and dreams and richly-deserved mockery of ISIS’s insane ideas. War is politics by other means, and what is politics if not a competition between opposing views of culture and society? This is a fight that has to be waged on multiple fronts.

    • 1. These people behead people on camera. What’s the point of mockery?
      2. Whatever wisp of a good idea there may be to mocking ISIS is blown away by the terrible idea of lending any legitimacy to Anonymous.
      3. Sure, there are worse ideas. I could list a thousand. I would think, however, that when the entire US policy approach to ISIS is nothing but bad ideas, we might want to focus on finding good ideas, not suggested by cowardly felons. Just a thought.

      • 1. I really, really, really don’t want to invite an invocation of Godwin’s Law, but this seems kind of relevant: The Nazis gassed millions of people, but even as we were sending soldiers to the beaches of Sicily and Normandy we still thought it was a good idea to print comics where Captain America punched Hitler in the chops. Mockery rallies the troops in the face of an enemy who might otherwise appear to be implacable and unstoppable, and in civilizational conflicts public opinion is a major component of the war effort. Further, there are millions upon millions of “neutrals” in this conflict whose hearts and minds we’re trying to win — Sunni muslims in places like Indonesia and the Arabian Gulf, as well as the Muslim diaspora in countries like France, England, Germany, Belgium, the U.S., and Australia. ISIS claims that their puritanical, austere, and frankly medieval interpretation of Sunni Islam is the only correct one. Right now, though very few muslims actually seem to be signing up with ISIS, significant minorities seem to be vaguely sympathetic to one aspect or another of their views. If those people tip over and go the rest of the way to ISIS-esque interpretations of Islam, it would be disastrous for the whole world. Thus, it is very important to discredit or marginalize ISIS and ISIS’s ideas in the minds of those people. ISIS may be evil, but it’s foolish to not recognize that they’re very serious about their ideology and their religious views. Showing their views to be profoundly unserious is a long-tested propaganda weapon.

        2. Again, during WWII, the U.S. government teamed up with the Italian mafia crime families in NYC both to keep Nazi and fascist Italian agents out of the U.S., and to supply Italian translators for the US Army and Marines during the invasion of Sicily. I don’t think they were wrong to do so, because while the mafia were criminals, Hitler and the Nazis were world-shakingly evil. However sophomoric and stupid Anonymous is, they’re not as bad as the Mafia, while ISIS is every bit as bad as the Nazis, if not worse.

        • 1) I think the key thing you are missing is that Anonymous, who sacrificed ALL of it’s ethical standing are the guys pushing this. Whereas, your comparisons to WW2 propaganda all derived from sources who had not undermined themselves.

          2) For this comparison to hold weight, we’d need to see some sort of effort by “anonymous” to work WITH the good guys in *coordinated* efforts ON THE TERMS of the Good Guys, not on Anonymous’ terms.

          • 1) I agree, Anonymous are sophomoric at best and criminal at worst. That doesn’t mean that their suggestion is a bad one. While it is certainly true that we should subject any suggestion Anonymous makes to heightened ethical scrutiny due to their past indiscretions, we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

            2) This Mother Jones report would seem to suggest that the government is, in fact, refusing to work with Anonymous: So on that count I agree that the analogy to the mafia is imprecise. However, I don’t agree that the analogy is worthless if the black hat-turned-white hat doesn’t entirely submit to the direction of the authorities. As Winston Churchill supposedly said of Hitler’s betrayal of Stalin and invasion of Russia, “If Hitler invaded Hell tomorrow, I should be sure to find at least a few good words to say about the Devil in the House of Commons.” I freely admit that this cynical approach does not conform to the highest ethical standard. However, I believe there is ethical value in defeating ISIS through whatever means possible. They’re that evil. Further, there is ethical value in preventing additional Sunni muslims from joining ISIS and widening the scope of our current struggle. If defeating ISIS and retarding their recruiting drives means I sacrifice some ethics points by praising one good action of Anonymous’s, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

        • Comic books, the Three Stooges, Chaplin, Spike Jones, all memorably mocked Hitler, but that was for morale and entertainment. Nobody was silly enough to suggest that any of it would slow down Adolf one bit. It was for us, not him.

          • This is true. And I think that the memes and the “Daesholes” Facebook statuses are, in the main, also for us, not them. However, they are also for the wavering or unaligned muslims, saying: “see, these holier-than-thou god-shouters with a death-wish can’t even stop us from calling them the worst sort of names on the Internet. Their god isn’t smiting us with lightning or plagues. They are the few, we are the many. They are pathetic, weak, and poor. We are confident, strong, and rich.” The propaganda battle is important, too. Will it work? I have no idea. I’m just an armchair general. But stuff like this has a respectable pedigree in the history of propaganda.

            The cyber-vandalism of twitter pages, facebook accounts, and fora that Anonymous has also been doing may be a bit more offensively useful. After all, ISIS and groups like it need to get their message out to recruit and spread fear, and also use it to coordinate the activities of far-flung operatives, cells, recruiters, etc., I’m sure they have underground methods of internal communication that aren’t so simple and obvious, but even a bee-sting is annoying.

            Anyway, I apologize if I’ve been droning on too long or too repetitiously. Thanks for humoring me!

  5. I think all it would take is one ISIS-sponsored (or even, ISIS-inspired) kidnapping of one Anonymous activist (complete with his Guy Fawkes mask), followed by a video of the captive’s beheading, to send the vast majority of the smarty-pants fools into a global panic of dispersal, blending-in, disavowal, inaction, abandonment, disbanding, silence, and mask-melting.

      • I don’t know. It’s Anonymous I’m talking about. I don’t have a headcount. You know what I mean. We’ve seen gangs of the masked ones at Occupy rallies. I’m talking about those, but also, about the majority of whoever truly does the hacking to claim for the group. I don’t doubt – or, won’t doubt – that ISIS has means of pinpointing and attacking at least one of them.

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