Over the course of the last 48 hours Twitter and Facebook have been facing heavy criticism for allowing just about anybody to pay to promote highly controversial ads to millions of viewers across the United States. While this is not exactly “news” and Facebook has already come clean about their role in the whole affair, yesterday Facebook and Twitter made international headlines after the company released the content of thousands of advertisements purchased by Russian state actors in the months leading up to the 2016 Presidential election.
For the purposes of keeping this article short, you can see some of the most controversial of them in a slideshow available in the article featured in the Twitter posting below.
— Ars Technica (@arstechnica) November 1, 2017
Considering that this story has made just about every news outlet you can think of and I have already written about this on multiple occasions in the past, I do not want to beat a dead horse. Instead, I want to talk about what random hackers and vigilantes are starting to do to help combat the problem.
It is not the just the FBI and Senate Intelligence Committee that is doing their best to combat the spread of political propaganda and fake news online, many hacking groups have also started to contribute to the cause by defacing and launching DDoS attacks against websites known to have posted fake news throughout the past. In fact, over the course of the last several months since the 2016 election, a number of websites previously exposed by The Washington Posts as known Russian propaganda outlets have come under heavy cyber attacks.
For example, sites like anonews.co, a site which has long been exploiting Creative Commons licenses while also capitalizing on pay per click advertising services:
Other sites named by The Washington Post, such as AnonHQ and TrueActivist have also come under fire from the international hacking community. What makes these attacks so interesting is that many of the groups have no affiliation or loyalty whatsoever to the United States or US Government. It appears as though these groups are simply standing up for the internet in general, angered by the fact that fake news and propaganda outlets are literally making money by spreading nonsense online, while also using outlets and services largely supported by internet activists – including Creative Commons, a license originally developed by the late/great Aaron Schwartz.
Believe it or not there is a principle involved here and most hackers do stand up against immoral injustices, regardless of the perpetrators. It is certainly interesting to see groups which have previously targeted the US via cyber attacks in the past, such as Ghost Squad, start to come to the US’s aid by launching attacks against websites and outlets used to paint the United States and its people in a negative light.
This article “Hackers Join The Fight Against Fake News” is free and open source, published under a Legacy Publishers License
Categories: Hacking News