Image Source: Academia Obscura.
In 2007, a bait-and-switch meme started on the Internet that tricked users into watching Rick Astley's 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up (hear it here). The meme is called 'Rickrolling' and while it has brought Astley back into the spotlight, by August 2015 he had earned only $12 from the prank because he has performer's rights to the song; profits from Rickrolling went to the very fortunate song-writing trio, Stock Aitken Waterman. Astley remains sanguine: "Listen, I just think it’s bizarre and funny. My main consideration is that my daughter doesn’t get embarrassed about it." Above, from Academia Obscura, a student's physics paper on Niels Bohr. Bohr, the 1922 Nobel Prize winner in Physics, modeled the atom in the 1920s, helped refugees flee the Nazis in the 1930s, worked at the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, and helped establish CERN in the 1950s.
Anonymous cyber-revenge campaign after the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks. Video Source: RT via Youtube.
The Young Turks opinion on Anonymous campaign against ISIS (16 November 2015). Video Source: Youtube.
The Rickrolling meme is resilient. A day after the Paris attacks on 14 November 2015, Anonymous began to spam and troll Twitter users with pro-ISIS terrorist hashtags by diverting their traffic to Rick Astley's video. This Rickrolling performs as a type of data-mining, in which Anonymous hackers keep track of those diverted to the video and mark them for cyber-attacks. The hackers use social media information to steal ISIS Bitcoin cryptocurrency holdings and they attack them on the Dark Net. They renewed this effort after the Brussels attacks on 22 March 2016. This is the hackers' reverse humour against ISIS operatives and sympathizers: never gonna give you up.
However, as I have commented before on this blog, it would be naïve to imagine Anonymous as purely heroic actors, after one has had a taste of their New World Order and World War III conspiracy theories, here, here, here and here. The campaigns against ISIS are related to Anonymous cyber-attacks on the Belgian government under hashtag #DownSecBelgium. On their announcement that they will rally at Place de la Concorde in Paris, France on 10 June 2016, one Youtuber was skeptical: "rien à voire avec Anonymous, c'est un fake."
Anonymous hacker campaign announced in French against ISIS one day after the Paris attacks (14 November 2015). Video Source: Youtube.
Anonymous hacker campaign announced in French against ISIS on the same day as the Brussels attacks (22 March 2016). Video Source: Youtube.
Anonymous hacker campaign announced in English against ISIS two days after the Brussels attacks of 22 March 2016 under the hashtags #OpBelgium #OpIceIsis #OpIsis #OpGuerilla and #OpBrussels, where the hackers announce which pro-ISIS Websites they have taken down and share information (as in the tweet below) about ISIS which they have hacked and leaked. Video Source: Youtube.
Anonymous France: Notre Combat Contre Daesh (27 March 2016). Video Source: Youtube.