Reactions to the Boston Marathon Bombing Essay

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One of the major reactions to the Boston marathon bombing occurred on the internet. Social media was especially rife with speculation over who the bombers were and why they committed those acts. One of the greater spectres that has loomed over the social media landscape in the past few years is the group called “Anonymous.” While the social media reaction to the Boston bombings might be unrelated to “Anonymous,” and instead constitute a spontaneous reaction to the event, it might still be useful to look at this group of internet users as a model for how social media participants might behave. “Anonymous” is known for being a loose association of unidentified individuals who use internet technology to carry out hacks on the web in the name of protest.
According to Gabriella Coleman (2012), “Anonymous” began on the internet forum 4chan, and grew from the culture on that site (paragraph 1). 4chan (n.d.) describes itself as “...[A] simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images.” (What is 4chan? section, para. 1) The site notes that the name “Anonymous” came from the moniker used to identify posters that did not choose to register an identity for posts on the site (Who is “Anonymous”? section, para. 1). Anonymous does not have any formal structure or organization. In his paper, “Is it OK to Be an Anonymous?” Phillip Serracino-Inglott (2013) explores the organization of Anonymous. He says its “members” consist of a heterogeneous mix of…

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