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Death of Michael Brown: the ambiguous and controversial role of Anonymous

Police ended up giving Ferguson, Friday, Aug. 15, the name of the officer suspected to have opened fire on Saturday on Michael Brown, a young man of 18. This event sparked many demonstrations and an impressive police deployment in the suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.

Before the official confirmation, an account which claimed the hacker group Anonymous had posted on his Twitter account that he had wrongly as the name of the officer involved. The police had quickly denied the report and criticized the collective. Twitter had suspended the account.

All information provided by Anonymous last week are not false. Several accounts have managed to get hold of the records of the police. They then posted on YouTube, allowing the public and the press to be more clear and detailed with the only data by local police.

By the admission of those who participate in events on the ground, accounts affiliated with Anonymous are an important source of information field allowing protesters to organize. They also played an important role in media coverage of events.

Overall, between failures and dissemination of reliable information, the different accounts claiming Anonymous played what the New York Times described as “a key role in the growing confrontation” between the police and some residents.

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