A reporter for tech culture site, The Daily Dot, reported on Anonymous for several months without disclosing his strong ties to the group, Pando has confirmed.
Reporter Dell Cameron has written over a dozen articles involving the hacker collective, including one about how Twitter had shuttered a hugely popular Anonymous account. However, Cameron failed to disclose to readers that, until May of this year, he was responsible for administering that same account, which describes itself as “a [s]ignal boost for Anonymous operations.” At least half a dozen of Cameron’s articles about Anonymous were published prior to the date he claims to have stepped down from running the @YourAnonNews account.
YourAnonNews has attracted over 1.3m followers, making it comfortably the world’s largest Anonymous Twitter account. According to those with knowledge of the account, it is administered and written by a small group of contributors, with new contributors being approved through group discussion.
The account frequently publishes details of Anonymous’ campaigns and occasionally issues statements rebutting media reports on Anonymous.
It was the @YourAnonNews account which threatened Pando over our coverage of Tor, calling Pando writers “scum” and demanding we be “reduced to hobos for life.” That tweet was deleted after Pando received a tip suggesting that at least one contributor to @YourAnonNews may also be a leading Tor developer. Also shortly after the threat against Pando, one of the account’s administrators, Andrew Blake, announced he was resigning, explaining that he had “becoming increasingly aware of drama I shouldn’t/can’t deal wit.” [sic]
Last week I asked The Daily Dot’s Cameron on Twitter if he was responsible for running the Twitter account. He responded “lol no.”
After I revised my question to ask whether he has any connection at all to the account, he changed his answer…
When asked if his editors at the Daily Dot were aware of his involvement with Anonymous he insisted “Whats known by my employers is none of your business”
Bizarrely, he then demanded I apologize for asking whether he was still an administrator of the account and asked me to provide example of how being “a signal boost for Anonymous operations” might compromise his reporting on Anonymous:
However, a spokesperson for the Daily Dot confirmed that Cameron’s involvement with Anonymous should have been disclosed:
That was a simple editorial oversight and its been updated since then to reflect Dell’s involvement in the past as an admin of the Twitter account @YourAnonNews… [T]hank you for making sure we saw that and took care of it…
The spokesperson included a link to one article that had been updated but, at the time of writing, other Cameron stories mentioning Anonymous still lacked disclosure.
The Daily Dot spokesperson also attempted to draw distinction between Anonymous and the Anonymous twitter account.
@YourAnonNews is not run by the group Anonymous. As I’m sure you know already, there is debate about the group Anonymous’ cooperation/participation with the Twitter account, but that’s not info we have access to since Dell is not (and never has been) a member of the group Anonymous itself. As you know already, he has had admin access to the Twitter account @YourAnonNews in the past, as do quite a large number of others that we know of/have heard of. But, he is not currently in that role.
That distinction seems to be lost on the members of @YourAnonNews…