42- Recognizably Anonymous | WBEZ
Skip to main content

99% Invisible

42- Recognizably Anonymous

Anonymous is not group. It is not an organization. Rob Walker describes Anonymous as a “loosely affiliated and ever-changing band of individuals who… have been variously described as hackers, hacktivists, free-expression zealots, Internet troublemakers, and assorted combinations thereof.” But when Anonymous came up against the Church of Scientiology, a small, non-hierarchical collection of Anons decided to take the disparate phrases, images and ideas circling around the 4Chan.org /b/ message board (where Anonymous has its roots) and combine them into a very engaging and effective “brand identity” (For lack of a better word. Is there a better word? I’d love to hear it. -rm). In this episode, Rob Walker explores the origins of the meme-like images in the Anonymous “visual brand” and explains why these icons so powerfully define a phenomenon that eschews definition. This piece was produced by me and Rob Walker based on his article “Recognizably Anonymous” in Slate.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.

CLOSE X