link to infographic: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3uF3nj0_LsbSFZoWENIbkROc2M
Description of feedback: Happily enough, the infographic was fairly well-received. Classmates liked the clean layout and clear highlighting of important information/topics. Content-wise, classmates found the “Important Events” helpful in visualizing the conflict between hacktivism and governmental regulation. I was limited by space in the infographic, so I hope to include some more background about Internet control and censorship, in order to really tie those concepts strongly with the rise of hacktivism and Anonymous.
Research question and tentative thesis: What caused the current prevalence of the hacktivism movement? What are the underlying motivations of the movement, as exhibited by the prominent group Anonymous?
To answer this question, I will examine the recent emergence of legislation that seeks to monitor and control the Internet (the “surveillance state”) and business practices that attempt to filter and censor opposing views. Then, I will examine the beginnings of hacktivism and analyze the behavior of Anonymous, one of the largest and most well-known hacktivist groups. From there, I will attempt to demonstrate a causal relationship between societal movement away from a free and open Internet and the emergence and lasting appeal of Anonymous and hacktivism. I argue that both the success of Anonymous and the rise of hacktivism can be attributed to this shifting online power dynamic, rather than the movement of existing activist groups and practices to the digital realm.