PUBLIC OPINION > Anonymous Is Admirable

News 2012/03/01 14:00:00
The loosely organized activist group known informally as Anonymous was the subject of another series of arrests this week, as Latin American police apprehended 25 hackers suspected to be involved with recent attacks on Colombian and Chilean government websites. Whether or not they were all actually involved is kind of beside the point -- the fact is, Interpol is openly aligning itself against Anonymous, and supporters are upset. Their existence and operation is a gray area, making the arrests a somewhat controversial issue, so we took the opportunity to ask the public what they think of the activist group.

There were clear distinctions between supporters and opponents of Anonymous, so don't take these results to mean there's anything like a consensus, but the majority of respondents fell in favor of them. And "admirable" turned out to be the right word to use for the favorable option, because many supporters had nothing but kind words for the group. However, there was a consistent word of reservation owing to the fact that any hacker could essentially pop on a Guy Fawkes mask and hail the name Anonymous. Opponents were straight-forward with their reasoning; the Top Opinion read, "They're criminals. Plain and simple."

Anonymous Youth

There was an extremely distinct age separation at 35 years, and nowhere else. All age groups under 35 showed huge support, with about four out of five supporting Anonymous; likewise, every group over 35 was against them, though not as unanimously with about two out of five showing support. Incidentally, sources say the members arrested this week fell between the ages of 17 and 40 -- not far off the mark.

Conservatives Can't Stand Them

Conservative respondents sided strongly against the group for similar reasons they've sided against Wikileaks in the past. The way Anonymous operates is frightening in the sense that it goes largely unchecked and has no way of assuring the public that it's working in their favor. Nothing stands between them and an abuse of power. However, it should be noted that libertarians showed majority support for the group.

Unpopular With the Fully Employed

Naturally, demographics based on employment, education, and marriage status are going to coincide somewhat with the age demographic, but there was an unusually large gap between full-time workers and part-time workers. Part-time workers were even more supportive than the unemployed, and retirees were about split. Students, of course, showed huge amounts of support.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our original poll about the Anonymous arrests. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • 13_JunkyardDog 2012/03/01 21:03:30
    They are like Batman. We can hate them, we can love them, they will do as they do, they will run, they will kick ass.

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  • Shadow_... MOJ 2012/04/06 05:10:06
    Why are they risking it then. Society in it's current state disgusts me, but there is not you can do corruptions is human nature and we can never remove ourseleves from that so long as there is someone to strive to be better than. We can do nothing about it, if you have the brain capacity to not be a knowledge feed slave then don't be one. Don't run a muck for the blissfully ignorant.
  • MOJ Shadow_... 2012/04/06 05:13:43
    "We can do nothing about it"
    And that is where you are wrong. To fight oppression is the duty of every individual, and the individual may do so in any way he/she pleases as long as it is effective, and believe me, Anonymous scares the pants off of many governments, keeps them in their place.
  • Shadow_... MOJ 2012/04/06 05:18:23 (edited)
    And then what once the opression is vanquished. Another will rise again and another. It's useless to fight what is inevitable it's an endless cycle that has gone on since ancient times and it will not stop there is no end. You fight then die and another soldier takes you're place.
  • MOJ Shadow_... 2012/04/07 05:50:53
    And that is the whole point. I for one do not plan on spending my life living like a rabbit accepting anything and everything and turning a blind eye.

    I will fight for my beliefs and die fighting for what i believe in. If oppression comes again then i hope my younger siblings will take on the fight and eventually my (if ever) sons or daughters.
  • Shadow_... MOJ 2012/04/09 17:19:04
    I will turn a blind eye, however I will not shepherd like a sheep. Nor commanded like a slave.
  • Metaldane 2012/03/01 23:02:53
    personally i support em theyre not being paid to do it theyre not trying to spread fear theyre just protesters protesting things theyre against but instead of blocking the streets theyre blocking websites
  • Petros 2012/03/01 22:35:38
    Maybe they can hack Obama and get his real birth certificate...because that crap they put on WH.gov sure wasn't it..
  • WOBBITT 2012/03/01 22:13:13
    Well I won't comment KUZZ I can't vote....
    Signed The Anonymous FARKLE
  • lee 2012/03/01 22:12:53
    interesting how conservatives are against and liberals for...

    liberals favor disclosure, favor transparency, favor openness... even if it means the end of people or programs we have supported.

    if they are doing wrong, we will call them on it.

    conservatives... not so much.
  • WOBBITT lee 2012/03/01 22:20:19
    REALLY now???
    Open disclosure....WTF does that have to do with this:
    "25 hackers suspected to be involved with recent attacks on Colombian and Chilean government websites"

    Just like we (Conservatives) don't like illegal aliens we don't like people that break the law.....

    So I could say:
    Conservatives are for people obeying laws....Liberals...ehhh...Not so much...
    Put that in your hash pipe and smoke it...lee-De-Dreamer
  • lee WOBBITT 2012/03/01 22:25:46
    mmm tasty.

    disclosure, in case you were no paying attention, is what the group says they are about... exposing wrong doing by any means necessary.

    liberals support that but are admittedly squishy on the criminal angle.

    conservatives just want to sweep things under the rug and keep doing what their doing.... even if what they are doing IS criminal.

    hows that taste?
  • WOBBITT lee 2012/03/01 22:34:41
    Any means necessary....That's a pretty broad brush stroke...IMFO
    So Einstein...Just what criminal crap are these rascally Conservative's sweepin under de rug?? Please SHARE ALL...!!
  • WOBBITT WOBBITT 2012/03/01 22:35:41
    KEY WORD=...Criminal!!!
  • WOBBITT WOBBITT 2012/03/01 22:37:16
    Hows my HASH taste...Might Fine MIGHTY FINE!!!..
  • lee WOBBITT 2012/03/01 23:09:14
    save some for latter...
  • WOBBITT lee 2012/03/01 23:20:20
    Hey...Now...You know us Conservative's We BE Bogarts....Get Thy OWN!!!....
  • AnonRanGER WOBBITT 2012/03/04 16:07:09
    What are you going to do when the government outlaws your guns?
  • TheDrop WOBBITT 2012/03/01 23:09:51
    Since conservatives hate Wikileaks, how about child prostitution: http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
  • lee TheDrop 2012/03/01 23:34:10
    they hate that too.. they hate everything... even if one thing contradicts the other.
  • BwaHa WOBBITT 2012/03/04 20:49:06
    “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.” Edward R. Murrow
  • BwaHa lee 2012/03/04 20:44:08
    Wrong Lee. I'm more of a conservative than many and I favor disclosure, transparency, openess for the most part... even if it means the end of people or programs I've supported in the past. If government... check that... if anyone is doing wrong and I'm made aware of it I'll call them on it. I'm not shy and I would expect you or anyone else to do the same with me.

    This coming from a conservative chap. So, don't use that broad brush friend... I've heard the same thing said about libs.
  • lee BwaHa 2012/03/04 22:09:15
    its not me painting,,, it the poll on SH (btw a VERY conservative subset of hte popluation at large)... so if you don't like the company you keep then maybe you should re-think your aliance.
  • skyperkins1 2012/03/01 21:38:01
  • pink_fish_ 2012/03/01 21:30:10
    Anonymous breaks the law, but isn't law suppose to protect people instead of being the same thing that people fear? Since reforms like SOPA and ACTA were proposed I certainly fear the government, and it made me think of what would I be capable of when it comes to defending my own freedom and the freedom of people that surrounds me
  • jenny.b... pink_fish_ 2012/03/01 22:18:28
    Yep you not stupid gal that's the whole reason behind taking one for the team and fair play the put their freedom on the line so that others may live in a righteous peaceful freedom kinda world I say anonumus all the way whoop :D
  • J-DUB 2012/03/01 21:24:56
    Love em. Stick it to those who stick it to us.
  • jenny.b... J-DUB 2012/03/01 22:16:50
    Respecta ;D
  • kobidobidog 2012/03/01 21:17:20
    Anonymous is for the little guy who has been stomped upon. Psalm 82:3; Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
    4Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. This is what Anonymous wants to do.
  • jenny.b... kobidob... 2012/03/01 22:16:24
  • MissJo 2012/03/01 21:10:16
    They have the power to do great things, and they have done great things. I don't agree with all of their decisions, but in the long run I support them.
  • Vieuphoria 2012/03/01 21:09:48
    Mon the revolution
  • 13_JunkyardDog 2012/03/01 21:03:30
    They are like Batman. We can hate them, we can love them, they will do as they do, they will run, they will kick ass.
  • watts.kyle 13_Junk... 2012/03/01 21:05:44
    Yeah,except they are hackers,that are defending the inter-webs from SOPA and PIPA.
  • 13_Junk... watts.kyle 2012/03/01 21:07:38
    indeed. the the suits are their cape, the keyboard is their batmobile and the mouse is their batarang.
  • watts.kyle 13_Junk... 2012/03/01 21:27:09
  • WOBBITT 13_Junk... 2012/03/01 23:07:50
    Batman Runs???,,, From who...The DIDDLER?
  • Nicole ... 13_Junk... 2012/03/04 06:10:00
    Nicole Thomas
    Best anwser ever. Hands Done.
  • watts.kyle 2012/03/01 20:58:14
    These guys are a mixture of evil and good.they are against SOPA and PIPA,yet they hacked alot of governments,which was WRONG.they are trying to protect something they hold dear:the internet.SOPA will be DESTROYED by the anonymous.the ILLUMINATI? DESTROYED by anonymous.XD but like i said...these guys should be doing GOOD THINGS with their knowledge and power.i trust anonymous to do the right thing for the inter-webs.and so should you.but...these guys should be put under arrest for hacking the fbi and all that.
  • kobidob... watts.kyle 2012/03/01 21:23:01 (edited)
    The FBI is getting their just deserts. FBI is Getting what they gave to others.
  • watts.kyle kobidob... 2012/03/02 19:36:00
    ...I Know.

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