“We need you to shut down his websites, research and expose what he doesn’t want the public to know.” This was the main message that came from the three-minute long YouTube video released on March 4 by the hacking group, Anonymous, with the aim to destroy Donald Trump. The group pressed their followers to join forces in a number of cyberattacks on to take place on April 1. The video showed a figure presenting a faux newscast, disguised in the groups trademark Guy Fawkes mask. “We need you to dismantle his campaign and sabotage his brand.” In a separate written statement, specific websites were listed as targets including, donaldjtrump.com, trump.com and trumphotelcollection.com as well as releasing the alleged cellphone and social security number of the Republican presidential front-runner as way of helping hackers to harass and shame him.
Anonymous is known for its high profile cyber campaigns against groups including the Islamic State and the Ku Klux Klan. It was after Trump proposed to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. last December, and “shocked the entire planet with [his] appalling actions and ideals,” that the rebel group decided to take action and declare a digital war. Their fury clearly hadn’t subsided in this clip where they planned to relaunch the cyber-attacks on a larger scale. “This is a call to protect our future, our freedom and our very way of life.” Even though they have allegedly exposed KKK members and helped to remove Islamic State related Twitter accounts, there has been criticism that the group over-promises and under delivers. Operation Trump, or #OpTrump, is described by the group as, “a declaration of total war.” The video signs off, “Operation Trump engaged.”