Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is an Internet meme originating 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain.
Anonymous, or Anon, is a movement made up of a number of nameless internet activists from around the world. For many, the ‘hacktivist’ group has become the face of the new cyber-war against oppressive governments and all-powerful corporates. Others say the group’s actions are reckless. Describing itself as “the freedom of speech, the freedom of information and the freedom of expression taken to a logical extreme,” Anon says it breaks laws, but only for the greater good.
In its early form, the concept has been adopted by a decentralized on-line community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner, usually toward a loosely self-agreed goal, and primarily focused on entertainment. Beginning with 2008, the Anonymous collective has become increasingly associated with collaborative, international hacktivism, undertaking protests and other actions, often with the goal of promoting internet freedom and freedom of speech. Actions credited to "Anonymous" are undertaken by unidentified individuals who apply the Anonymous label to themselves as attribution.
Anonymous consists largely of users from multiple imageboards and Internet forums. In addition, several wikis and Internet Relay Chat networks are maintained to overcome the limitations of traditional imageboards. These modes of communication are the means by which Anonymous protesters participating in Project Chanology communicate and organize upcoming protests.
A "loose coalition of Internet denizens," the group is banded together by the Internet, through sites such as 4chan, 711chan, Encyclopædia Dramatica, IRC channels, and YouTube. Social networking services, such as Facebook, are used for the creation of groups which reach out...