You may or may not have heard of the “group” Anonymous, recently. Chances are, if you have only recently heard of them it was from some media outlet. I have been curiously following them and their antics for the last couple of years, and one thing that constantly bothers me is the media’s complete ignorance in defining them.
Fox News coined them the “Internet hate machine,” much to their humor. On the other end of the spectrum, they have been called an “Internet vigilante group” by news stations for the work they did that lead to the capture of a pedophile last year.
So who are they?
Anonymous isn’t really a group, it is a concept. There are no members or leaders. People come and go. They are nameless Internet users who typically come from sites like 4chan (or any of the various *chans), Encyclopedia Dramatica and to a much lesser extent Something Awful.