Friday morning the hacktivist collective Anonymous had both its Tumblr blog and Twitter account @YourAnonNews hacked by the Rustle League for the second time in as many years. The group of hackers has made it their goal to troll and hack Anonymous. Although it appears Anonymous has regained control of the feeds, rather than disabling Anonymous, it is rather publicizing the overt irony of Anonymous being hacked that the Rustle League seeks.
The tweet sent out to over a million followers announcing the hack, which has since been deleted, reads:
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) May 31, 2013
The twitter feed, known to publishing breaking news stories, was used to publish more than two dozen racially insensitive and insulting tweets. In describing the "cerebral trolling" they engage in, Rustle League co-chair Jaime Cochran explains in an interview with Vice UK that "Trolling is a form of social commentary or satirical performance art for people who take themselves too seriously on the internet." Cochran explains that the group, which formed last year and now has a loose network of around 30 hackers is trying to "lampoon the way Anonymous" conducts itself.
"We see ourselves as the old Anonymous, which is more about having fun and f*cking with people rather than revolution and saving the world. Although, what we do does serve a purpose in society," said Cochran.
Besides mocking the hacker culture at Anonymous, Rustle League members often have their own side hacks and trolls, including the creation of the #cutforbieber hashtag by one floating member, Dutchminati, meant to give the impression that fans were cutting themselves as a form of "social commentary on idol worship and how we treat and look up to celebrities," explained Cochran.
The group has also considering joining the Westboro Baptist Church to spite Anonymous, which has repeatedly hacked the church's website. "They use free speech so brazenly," Cochran explained, "and it's amazing to see people like Anonymous trying and failing to squash what they do. I don't agree with their message as a trans woman, but they push the limits of free speech and it's something that needs to be done more often."