By Megan Geuss
On Wednesday an Indiegogo fundraiser set up by “Jackal Anon” closed, raising $54,668 to set up a dedicated news site for Anonymous. The campaign initially set out to raise $2,000 for the site, which will be called Your Anon News (or YAN, for short) after the group’s Twitter handle. The fundraiser blew past that goal on Tuesday April 16th, according to Indiegogo.
The site’s aim is to move some content away from Twitter and Tumblr, where Anonymous has traditionally made announcements and linked to articles. But YAN’s mission is also to become more integrated with the news cycle: “to report, not just aggregate the news,” as the video on the Indiegogo page claims.
“Our goal was to disseminate information we viewed as vital separating it from the political and celebrity gossip that inundates the mainstream,” the video (narrated in Anonymous’ traditional voice synthesizer) stated. Having a dedicated news site will also allow Anonymous “to collect breaking reports and blogs from the best independent reporters online,” as well as “provide feeds for citizen journalists who livestream events as they are taking place instead of the 10 second bites provided by the corporate media.”
It is unclear whether the site will ever move towards paying reporters for original work, or whether it will largely solicit volunteer reporting. Anonymous itself falls somewhere between “decentralized network” and “anarchic identity,” so exactly who is behind the site could remain as nebulous as it is at the YourAnonNews Twitter feed. “As official accounts do not exist, we’re an Anonymous account amongst many,” the group’s Twitter bio reads.
The campaign video says that volunteer programmers and designers will do much of the building of the site, and the funding will be used to “fill in any gaps in the development process as well as provide us with initial hosting.”
The funds were raised by 1307 contributors who were offered coffee mugs, t-shirts, and hoodies emblazoned with the Anonymous logo. Donations were also accepted in Bitcoin, although no gifts were offered to Bitcoin donors.