The rhetorical construction of hacktivism : analyzing the Anonymous Care Package.
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Woods, Heather Suzanne.
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This thesis uncovers the ways in which Anonymous, a non-hierarchical, decentralized online collective, maintains and alters the notion of hacktivism to recruit new participants and alter public perception. I employ a critical rhetorical lens to an Anonymous-produced and –disseminated artifact, the Anonymous Care Package, a collection of digital how-to files. After situating Anonymous within the broader narrative of hacking and activism, this thesis demonstrates how the Care Package can be used to constitute a hacktivist identity. Further, by extending hacktivism from its purely technological roots to a larger audience, the Anonymous Care Package lowers the barrier for participation and invites action on behalf of would-be members. Together, the contents of the Care Package help constitute an identity for Anonymous hacktivists who are then encouraged to take action as cyberactivists.