Groups affiliated with hacker collective Anonymous have declared “war” against the Islamic State, or ISIS, in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks that left 130 people dead, but there’s evidence that their operations might be doing more harm than good.
One Anonymous Twitter account hit out at other hackers a few days after the #OpParis initiate started.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 23, 2015
“Seriously, after #OpISIS there have been too many fame whores. It’s not about the follows or RTs. It’s about the truth. Have some integrity,” one account simply titled Anonymous, with the Twitter account @GroupAnon, wrote on the social media site.
In a video, members claiming to be from Anonymous said they took down 20,000 accounts associated with ISIS. Some members also said they alerted law enforcement about planned ISIS attacks in France and the United States.
According to Ars Technica, many of the suspended accounts posted on PasteBin may not have actually been affiliated with ISIS. Some of them may have simply posted messages sympathetic to the terrorist group, and others appear to be accounts that were making fun, or “trolling,” ISIS.
Hacker ‘th3j35t3r’ hits out at Anonymous
Another hacker called th3j35t3r, who has been in a long conflict with Anonymous, claimed the group is “suckering” media outlets.
He said that Anonymous has also made up fake ISIS threats inside the U.S.
“Anonymous are targeting random Arabic language accounts, which is counter-productive. Now here’s your confirmation: Twitter has confirmed that many of the ‘taken down’ accounts do NOT belong to ISIS,” the hacker wrote in a blog.
In regards to #OpParis, he said Anonymous “has made a bunch of [expletive] up, so that when the (non-existent) attacks DON’T HAPPEN, they’ll be able to run around screaming how they foiled the (non-existent) attacks and how they ‘are legion’ and we should fear them.”
He added: “Of course as standard operating procedure with these [expletive] when one of them is shown to be a [expletive] an Anonymous twitter account with a large following will come out and publicly disavow the incident claiming Anonymous had nothing to do with it or ‘that guy isn’t a real anon’. Only problem with all that is ‘anyone can be anon’ as they keep saying over and over, there’s no card carrying members … you don’t even need a mask. And this is the fatal flaw in their ‘business model.'”
Many of the people Anonymous has mixed in Kurds, Iranian, Palestinian, and Chechen with the operation. Kurds have been fighting against ISIS, and Iran’s military has sent in troops to fight against ISIS.
As th3j35t3r noted, “I’m not saying all of the above are good guys, but they are definitely NOT ISIS.”
Anonymous has been distributing an automated reporting script that can be used by its members and others report accounts to Twitter with ease. The list of the alleged ISIS accounts is available on Pastebin.
Meanwhile, a Twitter employee told The Daily Dot that Anonymous’ lists of alleged ISIS accounts are “wildly inaccurate.”
“Users flag content for us through our standard reporting channels, we review their reports manually, and take action if the content violates our rules,” the Twitter spokesperson told the website, adding: “We don’t review anonymous lists posted online, but third party reviews have found them to be wildly inaccurate and full of academics and journalists.”
The Twitter spokesperson added that the company is working to eliminate any ISIS support that occurs on its network, and accounts get reported from around the world.