On Tuesday, The Wire was included on a press e-mail sent by TheAnonMessage, a member of the collective Anonymous.
The e-mail titled "ANONYMOUS - EMERGENCY PRESS RELEASE" was odd for several reasons, the least of which was that it didn't actual call for any new action and this sort of feckless aside:
"We are protesting a radio station here and I wish I could crash their facebook page"
The communiqué also included a hastily put together YouTube video, which contained a petition and a list of meeting places for protestors in Ferguson in the video's description.
As it turns out, this e-mail committed several breaches of basic Anonymous protocol, including the use of carbon copy instead of blind carbon carbon as well as the shame of a Microsoft Outlook address. At least, according to another person who claims to be part of the collective.
On Wednesday, TheAnonMessage was quite coldly taken to task by another member of Anonymous, who sent a thrashing screed not only to TheAnonMessage
As we wrote last week, TheAnonMessage had threatened to release the disclose the identity of the Ferguson police officer involved in the Michael Brown shooting on Twitter if the Ferguson Police Department didn't do so first. The wrong name and photographs of the officer were released and the account was suspended by Twitter. It turns out that this e-mail was the final straw.
Below is the full e-mail from Anonymous. We've added emphasis to point out the stranger turns of phrase and insults as well as some of the insights about Anonymous itself, which as it turns out is democratic (and possibly homophobic):
Citizens of the media,
TheAnonMessage is what is commonly referred to as a "namefag" within anonymous. When you have someone so full of themselves and with the ability to gain followers, their ego tends to overshadow their common sense. Please know that there are much more astute people within the ranks of anon who bring all manner of talent to the table. They do it as the name indicates: anonymously. They do not seek celebrity and typically abhor personal attention. Also, anon does not broadcast their email addresses publicly.
This, my friends, is proof of how just one person flying the flag of Anonymous can fully discredit an entire movement. See how I simply I could have replied all? I now have all of these media emails; not that I care to do anything with them. It's yet another mistake that could have major consequences made by this one individual that is pretending to be the voice for the collective. Some anon... can't even keep his contacts hidden from each other. Thanks for making everyone look like fools yet again, TAM. One of the first things we learn as anons is that our security is only as strong as our weakest link. TAM has proven to be the weakest link yet again. For the record, bonehead, we BCC our addresses, such as I have done here. Better yet, use a proper mailer... and stop using Microsoft email. Your email password is probably anon1234 like it was on your Twitter account.
TheAnonMessage: This call to action is yours and only yours. You release that tripe. No one else on this list is going to give a damn about another robot-voice video with the same tired spinning globe and video clips ripped from the very people you've emailed. They aren't going to give a damn about anything else that you say, for that matter. There's not a single new bit of data in this video, it is regurgitation of old news. It should be taken for exactly what it looks like: Nothing at all. Were OpFerguson to reach out to the public, we would do it on our own, and without begging for mainstream media attention. This video should rightfully be ignored. The only good thing about your message is the attached Pastebin with locations for people to meet in solidarity.
TheAnonMessage, stay out of #OpFerguson. You have done more than enough damage. Stop making it look even more foolish. I spent five hours talking to the media about the mess you created. I voted against your release of the information, I asked you directly if you were 120% sure, but you just pissed yourself with excitement and went with it anyway. No more. Go play with your My Little Ponies or whatever it is you do when you're not busy crying about losing your Twitter account. Leave intel to the intelligent people.
Speaking of Twitter, whatever happened to this? "I have therefore decided to step down and completely expel myself from any collective associated with #Anonymous." https://twitter.com/TheAnonMes
TheAnonMessage, please remove your associations with Anonymous. We don't want you. In the meantime, the rest of us are working toward real action and change.
Several people you pissed off
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.