News

Anonymous crowdsources $54,668 for forthcoming news site

“Hacktivist” group Anonymous closed its crowdfunding campaign Tuesday after raising $54,668 for its soon-to-be-launched news site.

by Nick Tjaardstra nick.tjaardstra@wan-ifra.org | April 18, 2013

The group currently aggregates news through its Your Anon News Twitter and Tumblr feeds, but the new website will feature original reporting by citizen journalists. It is unclear whether contributors will be paid.

“We’ll provide feeds for citizen journalists who livestream events as they are taking place, instead of the 10-second sound bites provided by the corporate media,” a Your Anon News release says.

The new site will continue YAN’s mission to avoid “the constraints placed upon mainstream media outlets” and be a news source free of “political and celebrity gossip.”

The site “could be like nothing the Internet has ever seen before,” The Next Web’s Nick Summers wrote. But despite YAN’s mission to avoid the troubles that riddle mainstream media, it will likely face unique issues.

“The group have shown that they have a very particular political agenda, and so I can imagine this news feed will be on par with a newspaper that has very obvious political leanings,” Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey, told the BBC.

“The really obvious issue is that there is a lack of accountability,” he added. “With an organisation that is by definition ‘anonymous,’ how can one trust that what is being promulgated is accurate?”

Success of the campaign for development and hosting funding overwhelmed the initial goal of $2,000. But clearly not all Anonymous members were pleased: Some members apparently staged an attack on Indiegogo, the crowdsourcing site that hosted the campaign, Venture Beat reported. Indiegogo was able to thwart the attack and the campaign was not disrupted.

The group also made headlines this week for its hacking of North Korean websites, the second time in less than two weeks.