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Anonymous boycotts won't do anything

09 Feb 2014

Every now and then, a new Anonymous "operation" pops up, that in some way or shape involves a boycott. Don't buy from company X, don't give organization Y any publicity, and so on.

And every single one of them is going to fail.

Why are they going to fail? Because most of those who are (currently) actively involved in the "activist" part of Anonymous, lack the diligence and self-reflection to actually follow through with a boycott.

Just look at YourAnonNews. They have been effectively destroying and co-opting Anonymous for the past years, and those are not words I use lightly. If you look at the last 100 tweets of YourAnonNews, you'd be lucky to find even a single tweet that is actually about Anonymous, and not about some other pseudo-activism campaign that one of those controlling the account happened to be interested in. It's no longer YourAnonNews, it is now YourActivistNews - but riding on the coattail and momentum of "Anonymous" is cheap and effective. Much has been written about this, and many of the other questionable and unethical endeavours that YourAnonNews has been involved in.

Yet no boycott is happening. The majority of Anons lack the diligence to even notice that something is wrong, and of those who do, they largely lack the self-reflection required to not contribute to YourAnonNews' questionable goals. They will still contribute tweets, make press releases, produce videos, and link to things published by YourAnonNews - undoubtedly under the justification that "it won't matter if I stop doing anything, I'm just one tiny Anon".

If Anons do not have the spine to boycott something rotten in their own environment, then how can you expect them to successfully boycott something external, like a corporation?

I'm sure that some of you will argue that you're boycotting YourAnonNews, and that you're not part of the problem. And you'd be wrong; you are as much a part of the problem, as those who aren't boycotting it at all. A boycott doesn't magically happen. It needs people who drive others and make them aware of wrongs that are being committed, people who encourage them to join and pick up the cause. If you are personally boycotting YourAnonNews, but not working on convincing others to pick up the cause, you are part of the problem.

Just like you, as an activist, need to build the momentum for a boycott of a corporation, you'd also need to do so in your own environment. If you can't do that, then your boycott has failed. And judging from the popularity of YourAnonNews, there is no boycott momentum whatsoever. Everybody is just quietly complaining in their own corner.

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that, before trying to boycott rotten things in the rest of the world, you should learn to 'clean up' your own environment (within Anonymous) first. You can never succeed with a boycott otherwise.