Adrian Chen has a provocative essay on a hacker/Anonymous member who was instrumental in articulating the digital actions to challenge rape culture in Steubenville Ohio.
Chen not only describes the mistakes made by Lostutter and Anonymous hackers, but also outlines the cultural impact of this kind of hacktivism. Here Chen describes the impact of the video released of the football player enthusiastically cheering on the rapes.
The video wasn’t forensic evidence of a crime, but of the attitude that could allow something like the rape to happen over and over again. When people talk about how Anonymous “exposed” Steubenville, they can’t mean the facts of this case, which were utterly botched by KnightSec and its allies. What they mean is that Anonymous exposed how sexual assault is a bigger issue than bad people doing bad things. That it is enabled and even celebrated by a culture that tells young men it’s OK to laugh off a horrific rape as harmless late-night debauchery, to be instagrammed and tweeted about, then expects the rest of us to feel bad for the perpetrators when they’re punished. That’s the valuable lesson of this video, and KYAnonymous alone had uncovered it.