A British tabloid recently published a story about how Anonymous – the hacktivist organisation that has targeted many governments – threatened the BBC to DDoS their systems unless they reinstate Jeremy Clarkson.
According to the report – we’re refusing to link to the original article because it’s a really stupid story and doesn’t deserve the traffic it’s getting – someone anonymously posted something on Pastebin that announced the creation of #OpBringBackClarkson:
You don’t wanna piss off 300 million people…
BBC you are warned… DDOS cannons will fire if you don’t comply.
Bring back Clarkson!
Dear public, sign here if you want Clarkson Back: https://www.change.org/p/bbc-reinstate-jeremy-clarkson
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not Forgive.
We do not Forget.
So, are Anonymous so angry about the Jeremy Clarkson suspension that they would attack the BBC’s servers with DDoS? Not really.
There is not a lot of activity on the #OpBringBackClarkson hashtag compared to other Anonymous operations, like the ones that came up in the aftermath of the Ferguson protests. There are about 20 tweets, and most of them come from one user posting random images unrelated to Jeremy Clarkson. The others are mainly tweeting support about the campaign.
As noted by Digital Trends, the campaign looks likely to have started by a fan of Anonymous and not one of the influential members.
To me, the obvious thing is that the idea of targeting the BBC because they decided to suspend Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t really fit with Anonymous. Their operations tend to be based on civil liberties and social justice issues – not one guy having a “fracas” with one of Top Gear’s producer over dinner.