Azealia v. Azalea, Enter Anonymous
Azalea criticizes Banks for her demeanor, Banks criticizes Azalea for her views on Mike Brown and Eric Garner.
Now one of the larger Anonymous accounts has become involved in the scuffle.
@TheAnonMessage, with 131,000 followers, has waded in and demanded an apology from Azalea.
The consequences for not apologizing are guaranteed to get the predominantly male fifteen to twenty-five year olds that make up the bulk of @TheAnonMessage’s audience paying close attention – they’ve hinted at the release of an alleged sex tape involving Azalea.
While @TheAnonMessage has mastered the look and found a good sized audience, it is important to remember that Anonymous is more a culture than a coherent group, and this account has been in trouble before, most notably with a ‘faildox’, having incorrectly identified the officer who shot Michael Brown. Now they are catching the collective displeasure from @YourAnonNews, the largest of the news accounts to come out of Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street during 2011/2012.
The concerns with @TheAnonMessage run deeper than a young female artist’s indiscretion, as can be seen from the chatter associated with this tweet. This statement was part of the discussion after news of the double murder of NYPD officers broke.
What Can @TheAnonMessage Really Do?
Can @TheAnonMessage really deliver on this threat? There is no way to be sure, but there are a few conflicting theories floating around about the operators and capabilities of this account.
TAM is often accused of being ‘a Sabu’, a reference to @AnonymouSabu, a prolific informant named Hector Monsegur who was recently hired by CBS as a security consultant. If this is the case, their over the top rhetoric is meant to draw in the young and unwary activist, who will be set up to take dramatic actions, only to face years of prison time shortly thereafter.
TAM may be one of the libertarian minded people who started to show up in 2012, around the time that the old school Anonymous members were trying to chase away the trouble magnet activists. Anonymous isn’t a group, it’s a culture, or a set of methods, depending on if your view is strategic or tactical, and the culture has been evolving as more newcomers arrive.
As for actually delivering, the answer is … maybe.
If one botnet operator is supporting the Michael Brown/Eric Garner protests, they can probably blow MTV right off the internet. If one disgruntled MTV computer support guy is ready to leak, all he has to do is find a way to contact @TheAnonMessage.
The Bigger Picture
Spats between hip-hop artists are the rule rather than the exception. When placed against the backdrop of nationwide protests against police brutality and the Sony hack being treated as an international incident, despite painfully thin evidence, this all seems a bit more serious than it would normally. Add gun waving in response to the completely unprovoked murder of two NYPD officers, and it adds up to cause for concern.
Images from Twitter, Christian Bertrand and Shutterstock.