@YourAnonNews, a public relations Twitter account used by members of Anonymous to relay hacktivist related news and information to hundreds of thousands of followers, was suspended by Twitter around 11:50 AM EST on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. A backup Twitter account, @YANBackUp, had been created by Anonymous just two weeks prior and announced as follows:
As news of the suspension spread, followers of the @YANBackUp account quickly surged to over 16,000 followers within an hour of the notification. The original @YourAnonNews account had around 800,000 followers. Twitter declined to comment on the reason for the suspension saying they “don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy reasons.”
Anonymous is attempting to resolve the issue via “traditional channels” as we await details on the reason for the suspension.
In the past, Anonymous has activated their resources in response to issues such as The Pirate Bay, SOPA, OWS, and Internet pedophilla. More recently, Anonymous launched a series of attacks against Israeli government websites in response to Operation Pillar of Cloud, the Syrian government in response to a Syrian Internet blackout, and Westboro Baptist Church in response to the church’s threat to picket the funerals of the victims of the Connecticut school shootings.
In 2012, American magazine Time named Anonymous as one of the most influential groups of people in the world.
UPDATE 12/19/12: Talk about perfect timing. Just as Westboro Baptist Church was gathering for their protest surrounding the Connecticut school shootings, Twitter responded to YourAnonNews. Apparently the account was suspended following the hack of the @DearShirley (Westboro Baptist Church) Twitter account and after YourAnonNews posted a link to private information of Westboro Baptist Church members.
“Your account has been suspended for posting an individual’s private information such as private email address, physical address, telephone number, or financial documents. Tweet content: Sorry, Shirley isn’t available at the moment. It is a violation of the Twitter Rules to post the private and confidential information of others.”
A screenshot of the actual message is below.
UPDATE 12/19/12: And as quickly as the account went down, it was back online. At about 1:00 PM EST, @YourAnonNews was reinstated.