As promised, the hacking group Anonymous has “taken down” (#OpParis) many thousands of Islamic-State linked Twitter accounts since the attack on Paris. They do have some pretty amazing skills as we’ve all seen for many years now. But one thing they don’t have is some kind of magic shut-down-your-twitter-account button.
It doesn’t take much of a thought exercise here to realize that even if they did have such a thing, Twitter would fix it, forcing them to find another magic button, only to have Twitter fix it again, etc. (Sound familiar to any iPhone jail breakers?)
What anonymous does have is some very sophisticated and some very simple ways of identifying social media accounts, Twitter in this case, that are used by ISIS or their sympathizers. And once those accounts are identified, evidence is presented to the correct people, namely Twitter and various law enforcement agencies compelled to ask Twitter to shut these accounts down. And yes, Twitter clearly has the magic button.
And it’s easy to trivialize the impact of shutting down a Twitter account, but consider that it also removes followers and in effect, shuts down a micro-network of its own. Multiply that by 5 or 10 thousand in the past few days and it’s easy to imagine how much disruption that could cause.