Anonymous target terrorist Twitter accounts after Charlie Hebdo attack

The hacker collective is targeting terrorist Twitter accounts, but #OpCharlieHebdo has been hijacked by infamous marketing hoaxer Rantic

Anonymous, the leaderless collection of hackers, has begun an effort to eliminate terrorist Twitter accounts, in retaliation to the attacks which took place in Paris last week.

Twelve individuals were killed during an attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Four people died in a shooting in a kosher supermarket and a policewoman was also murdered.

The campaign by Anonymous, named #OpCharlieHebdo, seems to have been targeted by hoax marketing company, Rantic.

Rantic, tied to the sockpuppet account @marielynn124, has registered opcharliehebdo.com which redirects to Rantic.com. The faux marketing company has previous form for hoaxing.

The OpCharlieHebdo Twitter account has moved swiftly to distance itself from Rantic’s meddling.

We're not responsible of http://t.co/SBWJDNXpjH, this is a fake, and maybe a scam. Avoid it ! #OpCharlieHebdo #JeSuisCharlie #CharlieHebdo

— OpCharlieHebdo (@OpCharlieHebdo) January 8, 2015

The #OpCharlieHebdo campaign released a statement in a Pastebin post:

“Anonymous has always fought for the freedom of speech, and will never let this right besmirched by obscurantism and mysticism. Charlie Hebdo, historical figure of satirical journalism has been targeted.

Anonymous must remind every citizen that the press’s freedom is fundamental to democracy. Opinions, speech, newspaper articles without threats nor pressure, all those things are rights you can’t change.”

A video, consisting of black-and-white photographs of protests in Paris and soundtracked by ominous moody music, was also posted to YouTube, expressing the aims of the group. Another video was denounced as fake.

The main aim of the actual “operation” seems to be reporting terrorist Twitter accounts to have them removed.

Do you want to help us ? Find terrorists twitter profiles, report them. #No2IS #JeSuisCharlie #OpCharlieHebdo #CharlieHebdo #StopDonkyLovers

— OpCharlieHebdo (@OpCharlieHebdo) January 9, 2015

Supposed marketing company Rantic has been quick to hijack the campaign. Rantic has a history linked to hoaxes and trolling.

Before Christmas, Rantic registered theinterviewstream.com domain, which was purportedly where Sony would first stream The Interview.

Rantic is also thought to be responsible for the website which appeared last year, EmmaYouAreNext.com, which hosted a fake countdown to non-existent nude photographs of Emma Watson.

The website was presented as being the work of 4Chan, the message board behind the hacking scandal which exposed photographs of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, in what became known as “The Fappening”.

A false rumour was also spread by the group that Grand Theft Auto V was to be pulled from PC release.

It’s unclear what Rantic actually does, except for sell fake web traffic and social media followers. The group has been known to go by SocialVEVO, and Business Insider and the Daily Dot reported last year that members included Jacob Povolotski, Yasha Swag, Swenzy, and Joey B.

Rantic’s biggest claim to fame to date however appears to be a rap song about pickles (8m views on YouTube).

Taking credit for the #OpCharlieHebdo campaign seems to just be its latest meddling.

  • This article has been corrected to remove a reference to Alex From Target. The viral sensation surrounding the teen which was claimed to have been started by a different marketing film, Breakr, and not Rantic.


Mark Zuckerberg, Apple and Google respond to Charlie Hebdo attack

Contributor

Hannah Jane Parkinson

The GuardianTramp

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