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back to article Is Anon ready for the social network?

The story so far is that Anonymous – or someone associated with Anonymous, or someone cynically riding on the back of Anonymous, who knows? – has set up a site that will offer some kind of social network. According to TechSpot, the idea (and the “Alpha” Website, anonplus.com) arose when Google+ allegedly banned an unknown number …

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Meh

I don't see any problem.

Anonymous has hacked quite a few sites in their existence. Good show on giving the world a chance to return the favour. And if the world can't do it, then it's a good way of demonstrating their security chops.

However, I sort of feel that the Anon Forum will be hacked sooner than later. It's a PHP bulletin board - no, not phpBB (which used to be the proverbial swiss cheese), but Zetaboards, which I've heard little of for good or ill. This Hacking FAQ does not fill me with confidence, mind you.

http://if.invisionfree.com/topic/5018751/1/

Its advice to choosing a strong password is good. However, sentences like "Get to the Admin [Control Panel]! Immediately get to find/edit/suspend user and demote every staff member you think has an account at risk and the account of the cracking admin" smells of panic.

I was hoping for stuff like "Zetaboard is hardened against CSRF and SQL-injection vulnerabilities", but that all seems to be missing in action.

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GOD Works in Mysterious Ways as do their Global Operating Devices.

"Censorship provides a convenient handle on which I can hang a question about rules: censorship by whom? Sure, it’s clear that “Anonplus” won’t censor the statements or posts of its users – but what of those users who would wish to constrain, censor or silence other users?" ...... They can play their pathetic little mind games elsewhere, Richard Chirgwin, with those of a similiar bent, rather than imagining that they are a force to be reckoned with in a space which instantly recognises them and ignores them?

And you might like to consider that with regard to those parties you have mentioned/implied in ..."Anonplus already has rules. To grow into something that has users – users outside its own inner circle – it faces a much tougher task. It must learn to walk a tightrope between the tyranny of rules and the tyranny of anarchy. If it succeeds, it will be a welcome coming-of-age." ..... it is others who must learn to walk a tightrope between the tyranny of rules and the tyranny of anarchy whenever Anonplus are playing by completely different ethereal rules, for the IT CyberSpace Place is their Intelligence Domain and it doesn't suffer the use of fools for tools at all ..... for that is .....well, that is what I suppose one would class as the Status Quo Establishment's Prized Sub Prime Dominion, and they are more than welcome to it?

These are exceedingly odd times, are they not, whenever mere words and the selfless sharing of otherworldly thoughts, would seem to be such a great cause for concern and even be inventing a whole new industry to handle ITs HyperRadioProActivity.

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How about just two rules?

1. Nobody can silence anyone else,

2. Nobody has to listen anyone else.

Would that be sufficiently tyrannical?

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Gav
Trollface

No thanks

Anonplus; your personal information is safe with us, unless there's some lulz to be had from it.

But I don't know how they expect to be taken seriously while their main front page looks like a MySpace page for some third rate death metal outfit.

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Happy

Must I title this?

Even Facebook wasn't built in a day. :P

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Silver badge

Tragedy of the commons.

Speaking as a guy who ran a BBS in the late 1970s, some Fidonet nodes in the '80s, and designed, built & sold a couple "portals" in the '90s, I'm here to tell you that these "Anon" twits are in WAY over their heads ... and they are going to ruin it for the rest of us if they don't knock it of, take several steps back, and actually pay attention to the shit they are stirring.

But they won't. Kids think they are invulnerable ...

Bottom line? I *know* what this network is for, and Anon can't have it!

http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/writing/rant.html

I'd apologize, Russ, but I doubt you'd ask me to ;-)

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Boffin

@Jake: Hardin was partly wrong

As someone who started a very active topic-based email list in the early 1990ies and also had to compromise what I'd thought were my principles by censoring it to keep spammers out enough for those it was meant for to be able to keep using it, I shared you pain - and moved on. I realised on moving on that the Net isn't an unrestricted public space. It's a large and connected set of private spaces with restricted invitations by _owners_ of these private spaces, because either I had to act as owner of mine or it would have been trashed by spam vandals and left as a spam sewer to be opened up occasionally by anyone thinking it might still have its original stated purpose, which was the consequence of the same dynamic upon much if not most of Usenet. But even sewers have owners, even if the owners choose not to clean them up, and when many or most of the group owners became absentees it became inevitable that most ISPs chose to give up on providing continued Usenet service to their customers.

Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons" never described any real commons, but was about a hypothetical unmanaged commons which could be torn apart in claimed manner by free riders. But there continue to exist some genuine commons, areas of land managed by given sets of farmers, and if you look into how they actually manage these, you'll find clear sets of rules about which farmer can use the shared resource and to what extent in respect of grazing rights in order to ensure sustainable use. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons#Criticism

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Silver badge

Harden was a piker.

During the meanwhile, care to show me around the Knaresborough Forest?

Usenet is getting nearly as thread-bare ... And again, I invite you to read Russ's rant.

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FAIL

Can't be arse to look up, but...

...if everyone is Anon, how do you connect with people?

Anon, friends Anon, who is connected to Anon, however anon is not sure if he know if it's the right anon.

To me, this just sounds like anonther 4chan/b/ clone.

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Headmaster

Pseudonyms I suppose

Although I realize "anonymous" and "pseudonymous" are not technically the same thing.

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It will fail

And it will do so on several levels.

First, the Anonymous members who put themselves in charge of this project will be unmasked, either through some detective work on the part of a news group, another hacker group, or some guy they managed to tick off because of something they said or did or didn't say or didn't do (hey, nutjobs are legion).

Second, it will fail because there is no way that a social site, with the avowed intent of taking on Google and Facebook, can be created by one person, thus there has to be a group taking on the task. And, as every working person knows, the more people you put on a project, the more the chance of a jerk being part of said group. Said jerk will inevitably throw a spanner in the proceedings by outing the group, publishing names or something of equal jerkitude.

Third, and last, the sheer magnitude of this project is going to wear them down and break them. Behind their grandstanding and posturing, what we have is a group of people who come together to revel in a bit of chaos by doing what they think they do best : hacking other people's servers. This kind of activity, which they consider fun, is something they can do when they're ready and willing, and holds the thrill of success to drive them on. Building and managing a social site is light-years on the opposite of such 007-ness. It is a job, a mountain of work, with all the dreary day-to-day Mondays that that implies. They will have to be on their toes from day one, every day, without fail, else there will be issues. On top of that, they will have to learn to deal with unhappy people, something that posting a file accompanied by gloating text does not really prepare for.

All that said, I wish them luck with their reintegration project. And I wait for the day that their site gets hacked by the inevitable upcoming hacker group out to prove a point. I'll be interested in seeing the reaction of ancient hackers gone corporate.

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FAIL

Title

So a bunch of "hackers" want me to hand over to them personal information that could be used to socially engineer access to banks etc. Where do I sign up?

"hackers" is in quotes because nearly all of them are script jockeys who wouldn't have a clue how to exploit a buffer overflow.

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And...

...theres all that password reuse nonsense.

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Anonymous Coward

A poor piece

Well, you've jumped spectacularly to the Isle of Conclusions, taken a good long ramble around the Peninsular of Missed Points and gotten entirely lost in the Bog of Pedantry.

Have another go when you find your way to the City of Clue.

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WTF?

Social Networking for 'The Legion of Single People'

..... would be interested to understand how that is going to work?

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Anonymous Coward

No rules? We already know the answer to this.

A "forum" with that property has been around since before the world-wide web existed. It's called "USENET" and saw the light in 1980. The rules make strict distinction between "abuse on the net" and "abuse of the net" (that's one f). The admins are those people running the servers that make up the network, and they only care about the latter abuse, each in his own way. To do something about the former you can make your discussion group moderated, saddling one or more people with the burden of pre-moderation; post-moderation is all but unsupported. The most-used practical way to cut down on the amount of crap you as a participant have to deal with is the killfile.

The system isn't exactly DAU-friendly; see there the success of heavily moderated reinventions-on-the-'web. This anonplus thing may or may not adopt the same stance and thus might see a similar environment arise. Then again, they might have a better class of idiot and then it might not.

But the bottom line is that we assume rules are always necessary. This assumption is as often false as it is true. That is, rules are indubitably necessary but for what, exactly? As a rulemaker it is disconcertingly easy to get caught in morasses of morality-based rules when all you needed is systemic rules to protect the system from collapsing under abuse. You can see this everywhere, including in law. If some facility, rule, whatnot needs ever more rules to stop people from, well, being people, you know the system is going against the grain and so it needs different direction rather than more rules to fuel its swimming upstream.

"Anonplus" will certainly need to make very careful choices, and I hope for them they understand this "on" and "of" distinction. It's been done before, and well-understood, but in a corner of the 'net that has been all but forgotten.

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Flame

May I introduce a new word to commentards on this post...

That word is 'OFF'.

The opposite of ON is OFF. You turn the lights OFF when you leave the room.

Seems this is a new concept to many.

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FAIL

...ok

I think you may have missed the point here. If I'm incorrect, feel free to flame.

Abuse on the network = abusing the users

Abuse of the network = abusing the infrastructure

Although with all of the shenanigans that are going ON out there, I am definitely thinking of turning OFF my network and going outside for a few years.

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Anonymous Coward

misread?

I thought he used 'of' correctly.

He meant that one form of abuse occurs within the network itself, and the other is abuse to the network.

I don't think he meant online and offline, as you imply.

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Pint

@AC 11:08

Good sense, and a good plan! We should ALL put down teh IntraWebTubes, and go outside for a few beers :-)

Waddaya mean AC didn't say that? I can read between the lines, even at 4:30AM ;-)

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Headmaster

@May I introduce a new word to commentards on this post...

This from someone with the name of "Your Retarded"?

My retarded *what* exactly?

Or did you mean "You're Retarded" which is short for "You Are Retarded"?

Perhaps that's apt...!

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Happy

Ooh

you fell into the trap.

The spelling is intentional.

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Happy

Hmm, that case could indeed have an alternative interpretation

However, my comment was made not on the strength of one individual example but rather the fact that this comment thread has numerous instances where 'of' has been used instead of 'off'.

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Joke

ODFO

Oh Do Fuck Of

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@Your Retarded

Well, my "of" instead of "off" was a typo. Ask any touch typist used to a model M keyboard, typing instead on an HP Pavilion laptop's native keyboard, how easy it is to type an "ff" faster than the hardware can manage it, leading to an "f" ... I'll cop to the obvious proof-reading mis, for somewhat obvious reasons.[1]

[1] Before you say it, "miss" ... same typoe[2].

[2] Obviously on purpose. I'll stop now, for you're reading pleasure[3].

[3] OK, that's realy enough ... ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Honey pot?

set up by some law enforcement agency?

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FAIL

whot?

>Google+ allegedly banned an unknown number of Anonymous members.

They weren't very Anonymous then, were they?

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Thats funny but..

I think the writer may be mistaken.

There was an article on El Reg recently saying that google had changed its policy and part of that change was that users could no longer be completely anonymous, rather than users could not be part of a group called anonymous.

Maybe all this confusion about anonymous-ness was what sparked our ancient predecessors to start the idea of names for people.. makes life easier.

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I think some people here are mistaken by the term anonymous

I'm pretty sure the Anon. site will mean that people will be allowed to call themselves [Mr D Duck/Michael Mouse etc] without fear of reprisals -- unlike Facebook for example.

Users of the site won't all be called 'anonymous coward' -- that would be ridiculous!

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FAIL

Erm but it states its not made by Anonymous

On their page

"this idea is a presstorm idea and only takes the name anon because of the Anonymity of the social network. "

Pretty clear to me

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Anonymous Coward

squirrel!!

but when did anyone ever read all the way to the bottom of a page?

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Social networking has had its day

It was fun for a while, but it is totally frivolous and an absurd waste of time.

The worst part is the amount of "protection" provided to children (under 16's) is farcical.

My daughter is 13 and I monitor her usage all the time.

I would blacklist facebook altogether, but the wife would just kill me, as facebook is the internet apparently.

I dislike you emmensely Zuckerburg.

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Zot
Bronze badge
Big Brother

They say there's a 'lot of ignorance out there'

But they could at least spell check their title page! What's a "tpeople' anyway.

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FAIL

Anonplus?

Looks suspiciously un-anonymous to me.

Check out the signup page. Makes Zuckerberg look uninterested.

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Meh

Anonymous social networking?

I can just imagine...

You have 3 friends with birthdays this week - Anonymous, Anonymous and Anonymous.

You have 1 new message from Anonymous

Anonymous is now friends with Anonymous and Anonymous

Anonymous has uploaded 2 new photos

Anonymous writes on your wall.

You are now friends with Anonymous and Anonymous

Anonymous has tagged your photo of Anonymous and Anonymous

Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous and Anonymous have changed their profile pictures.

Anonymous has commented on Anonymous's photo

Can't quite see it working myself.

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Thumb Up

New Status Update

Anonymous likes this.

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Anonymous Coward

friends and family know me, corporates don't

I and increasing number of my friends on Facebook use a given name restricted to Facebook, and a picture which means nothing elsewhere. I only befriend someone on FB based upon a conversation preferably in real space or at least elsewhere, where I tell them my FB name and picture.

I'm the one who looks like the Mona Lisa wearing a moustache.

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Confused

Wouldn't a social network kinda ruin the point of anonymous - it turns people from anonymous into names?

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FAIL

what's the point

you won't be anonymous anymore...

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