And the race for president just got weirder: the loose online collective known as Anonymous has declared “total war” on the bizarre Republican candidate, Donald Trump. Since any online user may be a part of Anonymous, the group tends to have a lot of varied goals, ranging from spreading chaos to supporting social justice. This video seems to be linked to other Anonymous campaigns focused on punishing human rights violators and people promoting censorship. In a video released on YouTube, a person who has a British accent and is wearing the signature Guy Fawkes mask of Anonymous encourages fellow members of Anonymous to join together and fight against Trump.
The video starts with the masked figure claiming that Trump’s past actions have been “deeply disturbing” to Anonymous. To support this statement, the video then shows several clips of Trump. These clips include Trump mocking a disabled reporter, Trump claiming that all Mexicans are racist, various sexist statements by Trump, and Trump making oddly sexual remarks about his own daughter. Therefore, the Anonymous spokesperson says “Your inconsistent and hateful campaign has not only shocked the United States of America — you have shocked the entire planet with your appalling actions and ideas. This is a call to arms.”
When Anonymous declares war on Trump, they mean that they will target cyber attacks against him that will be designed to remove his online presence and discredit his campaign. The video suggests that hackers try to take down Trump’s website on April 1 by flooding it with distributed denial of service attacks. With enough people involved in the Anonymous plan, it is possible to prevent Trump supporters from accessing his webpage for lengthy amounts of time. Though this sort of attack is only an inconvenience, there are other ways that the Anonymous hackers plan to stop Trump’s campaign.
Anonymous members are encouraged to research Trump’s past and call attention to previous problematic statements and actions by Trump. Since Anonymous has managed to release voicemails from Trump’s account to the online newspaper Gawker in early March, it is clear that this push against Trump by Anonymous may actually cause issues for Trump’s campaign. If more instances of Trump making bad business deals, being racist, and saying thoughtless remarks come to light, his fan base might become somewhat smaller. With Trump’s checkered past and thoughtless personality, it is possible that the latest Anonymous campaign may have a real effect against Trump.