Anonymous group launches citizen journalism website

Two men wearing V for Vendetta masks Sceptics worry about how neutral Anon News will be

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Anonymous, the controversial hacking collective, has a new venture - a website for crowdsourced news.

Its citizen journalism site Your Anon News takes its name from the group's social media news feeds and aims to collect breaking reports and blogs.

The site will include feeds for livestream events "as they are taking place instead of the 10-second sound bites provided by the corporate media".

The group has raised $54,798 (£35,924) to get the site up and running.

Anonymous memorabilia

The money, collected on fundraising site Indiegogo in the account name "Jackal Anon", will be used for development and hosting fees.

More than 1,000 people contributed to the fund and were rewarded with Anonymous memorabilia including mugs, t-shirts and hoodies.

The aim of the site is to bring together and expand its Your Anon news (YAN) service that currently runs on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

"We know it would be beneficial to our followers to exist as a community beyond simple social media interactions," it added.

Its vision will the same though: "Our goal was to disseminate information we viewed as vital separating it from the political and celebrity gossip that inundates the mainstream."

But not everyone is convinced about its output.

"I think it is highly likely to be biased," said Prof Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey.

"The group have shown that they have a very particular political agenda, and so I can imagine this news feed will be on a par with a newspaper that has very obvious political leanings.

"The really obvious issue is that there is a lack of accountability. With an organisation that is by definition "anonymous" how can one trust that what is being promulgated is accurate?" he added.

North Korea

It is not clear whether the citizen reporters will be paid or whether the site will rely on volunteers.

This month Anonymous has turned its attention to the political tensions on the Korean peninsula, with Operation Free Korea targeting North Korean websites and social networks.

Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean news site was forced offline and Twitter and Flickr accounts breached.

In February, the group fell victim to its own security breach when one of its popular Twitter feeds was taken over briefly by rival hacktivists.

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