Hacker group Anonymous plans to launch a new social network called AnonPlus where there will be “no fear of censorship,” after Google+ banned several accounts related to the group.
“As some of you know we got banned from Google+ due to some of our content,” wrote YourAnonNews in a blog post. “What we didn’t know at the time is that we were just one of a handful of Anonymous accounts that was silenced. This is the sad fact of what happens across the internet when you walk to a different beat of the drum.”
Anonymous has gained much exposure in the last year with hacker attacks on PayPal, Visa, Amazon, Bank of America, and various world governments. The group was blamed for the huge attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network but denied involvement. Anonymous also promised to continue where the notorious LulzSec hacking group left off after it made headlines attacking websites of the U.S. Senate, CIA, and games like Minecraft and EVE Online.
Google banned the YourAnonNews Google+ account, not surprisingly, after Google said the group’s posts violated its “Community Standards.” YourAnonPlus had its Gmail account shut down at the same time.
The AnonPlus social network is currently being worked on by 18 developers, according to Anonymous. However, it notes that the list of developers could change “daily if not hourly.”
“This project is not overnight and will take many of those out there who simply want a better internet,” wrote Anonymous on the holding page for AnonPlus. “We will not be stopped by those looking to troll or those willing to stop the spreading of the truth.”
Google+, which makes its users declare a first and last name, pushes transparency over anonymity. It’s no surprise a group of unnamed hackers would be kicked off. Conversely, the group has an active Twitter presence with its @YourAnonNews account, which has more than 19,000 followers.
Bernard Moon, co-founder & CEO of XS Groupe, thinks Google keeping anonymous users off Google+ is a sound strategy for early growth and building trust among users.
“I’m not sure it’s about banning anonymous people or groups that they don’t like, but it’s about keeping order and transparency,” Moon told VentureBeat via e-mail. “It’s similar to how Facebook started out with people from verified college emails and using real names. It prevents such online communities from being quickly inundated with spammers, trolls and other unwanted parasites.”
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