In the latest Anonymous KKK list update, the group has distanced itself from yesterday’s release of a list of prominent politicians who are also members of the famed group. According to Anonymous–which is decentralized, and has no single leader making its decisions–yesterday’s list was unintentional, and not necessarily part of what will be the official release on Thursday, November 5th.
Yesterday, the hacktivist group made headlines and raised eyebrows across the country when it shared a list of several dozen alleged members of the Ku Klux Klan. Included on the list were a number of prominent politicians, including four United States Senators, and the mayors of five cities. The release received widespread coverage, but not included with the initial information was proof of how the group had made its discoveries.
Shortly thereafter, each of the nine most prominent politicians on the list issued denials and rebuttals, most of them strong. Confusion then arose when Anonymous distanced itself from the initial release, first claiming that it had been made prematurely, then saying a separate party was behind everything. According to a report in the Washington Post, Amped Attacks, “a hacker who is known for using DDoS attacks against the web presence of hate groups,” was responsible for the initial Anonymous KKK list, and managed to make it public through an affiliation with a Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account.
Anonymous has several Twitter accounts, and were quick to tweet and re-tweet that the one handle responsible for all official Anonymous KKK list updates is @Operation_KKK:
— Operation KKK (@Operation_KKK) November 2, 2015
The list of 1,000 members of the KKK will be announced through the account: @Operation_KKK Stay tuned!
— Anonymous (@GroupAnon) November 3, 2015
Knoxville mayor Madeline Rogero’s denial, which came via Facebook post, was perhaps the most amused, offended, and pointed:
I’m not even sure this is worth responding to, but for the record: There is a list circulating online purporting to “out” elected officials as members of the KKK. For reasons unfathomable to me or anyone who knows me, my name is on the list. Given my background, my interracial family, my public record and my personal beliefs, this would be hilarious except that it is probably being seen by a lot of people who have no idea who I am….I began my political career working for the rights of farm workers with Cesar Chavez. I have spent decades working for causes of social justice and equality. As Mayor, I have pushed for diversity in our workforce and outreach to and inclusion of people of all backgrounds in our community. In concert with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program, I began the Save Our Sons initiative to increase opportunities and reduce violence-related deaths among boys and young men of color. I have advocated publicly for LGBT civil rights, and I was the only mayor in Tennessee to sign onto the mayors’ amicus brief for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case. In short, I don’t think the KKK would want anything to do with me.
(Photo credits: Anonymous KKK list update one via Flickr; @Operation_KKK on Twitter)