Tsunami of Support for #OpKillingBay from #Anonymous

OpKillingBay

OpKillingBay

Save the Whales! And the Dolphins too! It’s a nearly 40-year-old war cry from Greenpeace, and on Friday the 14th of November it was taken up (again) by Anonymous, as their #OpKillingBay topped trending lists worldwide in a Tweetstorm tsunami.

the#OpKillingBay is a year-long Anonymous action in collaboration with other activists and organizations, an attempt to draw attention to the annual dolphin hunt at Taiji Cove in Japan. Dolphins are herded into the bay, cut off with nets and then harvested; some are sent to aquariums around the world, while most are slaughtered and sold for meat. The harvest causes the cove to turn bright red from the spillage of dolphin blood; activists will tweet “The cove runs red” when this occurs. In the last year the actual beheadings and butcherings take place under tarps, so as to avoid the prying cameras of activists and observers, dubbed “Cove Guardians,” poised on nearby hills.

The mayor of Taiji has suggested assuaging the worldwide PR fail by building a sort of theme park where tourists could swim with dolphins in the morning and devour them at lunch.

The world, predictably, reacted with a gigantic “EW.” The theme park is currently on hold.

Actions by OpKillingBay have focused around getting volunteers who are willing to go to the cove and observe, and to raise awareness worldwide of the ongoing dolphin hunt. Friday’s tweetstorm was their most successful to date, with 40,728. Yes, 40k+. I thought it was a typo. It’s just under half their 100k lifetime total.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 1.08.53 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 1.08.53 PM

We contacted #OpKillingBay on Twitter and interviewed project spokesperson @GunchimpVA via email.

“The objective of OpKillingBay is to end dolphin fishing and whaling in Japan and to end the supply of dolphins and orcas to aquariums,” said their spokesperson. S/he told us that the operation will not be a success until the world sees complete cessation of both meat hunting and aquarium hunting of whales and dolphins. “[In the meantime we want] to increase global awareness of the brutal methods as well as the highly emotional and intelligent nature of dolphins and orcas. To see an increase in the number of supporters and to see pressure applied on the Japanese governments via objectives such as #BoycottJapan.”

“Right now we just want Japan as a whole to become aware that they are under the scrutiny of the whole world. And ideally to change local perceptions and attitudes so that pressure is applied internally. We will re-engage each year for the duration, or until our demands are met.

Anonymous is not the only participant in OpKillingBay. “There are many groups all working towards the same goals, all with different methods and tactics, and not always working together.” There are multiple tensions between groups: some ethical, some stylistic, some personality-based, and some (perhaps surprisingly) monetary. “Animal rights activism can be a frustrating thing to be involved with, and there is often drama in the community. However, with a common goal and interests, generally the action is positive and we continue to urge groups to tolerate each other and work together. Unlike Anonymous, in the rest of the animal rights community there is much fundraising, and therefore the temptation to compete rather than collaborate is often a problem.”

“[OpKillingBay] pretty much trended number one on Twitter everywhere for two to three hours. Our main aim, however, was to penetrate the Japanese twittersphere and interwebz. This time we collaborated with Japanese-speaking Anons and worked with translation tools to generate a lot of Japanese tweets, and also numerous infographics using anime characters, movie stars, and pop stars from Japanese culture, in line with our attempts to get support from inside Japan itself.”

The activists are pleased with the impact of the operation to date, and particularly the recent tweetstorm. “Global awareness has skyrocketed since we and others started focusing on Taiji last year. With this latest instalment of Twitter domination, and many supporteres mirroring our efforts on Facebook, I am certain that those who have contributed have made an enormous difference. Of course, until we get some sort of government capitulation (as with the proposed legal changes in Denmark further to #OpNullDenmark) I fear that many will feel that we are yet to accomplish anything. If this is the case, and Japan doesn’t seem to change its attitudes, then we will focus on attacking from the outside in instead of from the inside out, with boycott strategies instead.”

We asked what individual supporters could do to support the operation. The answer was clear. “Do what you do best. If you tweet, tweet. If you make posters or videos, fantastic. If you hack or DoS, DO EEET NAAAOW!

We asked how the team had coalesced, and how the spokesperson had become active in the operation. “We launched Operation Funkill [to oppose sport shooting, particularly of endangered animals] shortly before OpKillingBay was launched by another Anon last year. We made the video and supported the op until circumstance led to the aforementioned Anon abandoning his account and running for the hills. We then inherited the responsibility and took it onboard.”

“If you liked this Op, stay tuned for the other issues being tackled by the team at #OpFunKill. Coming soon: #StopVivisection and #TeamVirunga.”

“And Seaworld can fucking expect us too.”

The interview was signed: “@GunchimpVA@OpFunKill @Hot_Poppy2412 @MrOffica @MalRw3 @PriscillaLakerV@H4x0rsAnonymous  and too many to mention. Also thanks to @Teelin for much inspiration.”

UPDATED TO ADD:

The team behind #OpKillingBay contacted The Cryptosphere to clarify that @OpKillinBay, ironically, is not a part of the operation. In their opinion that account is a domain squatter who hoped to coattail on the operation, registering the account once it became apparent it would make a – forgive me – splash. @OpFunKill told us, “They registered it before we had the chance after it the op was announced last year without making an actual Op account. There’s been a lot of confusion and arguments about it, but they refused to give it up. It’s some ARA from Facebook who thought he’d become ‘OpKillingBay.’ It’s the same guy that launched his own tweet storm an hour earlier, with tweets stolen from our package with hash tag renamed. Please delete any mention of @OpKillingBay account. They are not, and have never been, Anonymous or part of the Anon action. There are various people with names like @0pKillingBay and @OpKiiiingBay etc. @OpKBOfficial is the op account now.”

RE-UPDATED TO ADD:

Also, after all the credit-grubbing butthurt in the comments, I edited this post to remove the name of a certain oceangoing society altogether. And I left in Greenpeace. Suck it, Paul Watson.

Featured Image from Cryptostorm Network on Twitter

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Categories: Activism, Anonymous, Citizen Journalists, Hackers, News, OpKillingBay, Politics, Protests, Social Media, Twitter

15 replies

  1. Quite a few inaccuracy’s here. Also a few of lies thrown in. I’d check facts if I were you, and not rely totally on what this splinter group of ‘Anon’ state to be fact – it isn’t.
    Having said that, they did a great job in raising awareness for the dolphins of Taiji, and that is commendable. As are all groups working hard towards this goal individually, and who are not actually ‘mirroring’ what ‘Anon’ do. Like I said, be careful of what you’re told – not all of this is fact, plenty of it is fiction. Thanks.

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    • Unless you get more specific about what you are claiming to be a lie or inaccuracy, I’m going to have to chalk this comment up to Butthurt rumour-monging.

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      • Okay, you do just that, I really don’t care whether I am believed or not by you – People can actually see for themselves, it is common knowledge in the ARA world, I really do not need to elaborate on here.
        Have a good day!

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        • Help me out: was it Saul Alinsky who said “Imagine what we could accomplish if no one cared who got the credit”?

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          • Oh credit where it is deserved. They did a good job this weekend.
            They just need to remember there are many more who are doing the same as them, if not more, and who are not actually mirroring them at all, but working in their own right. Achieving much more, without the need for glorification.
            This splinter group are doing much good, but also as much harm – doesn’t really balance itself out when it comes to matters of AR concerns.
            And that’s all I have to say on the matter – The people who need to know, know. Those who don’t, don’t need to ;)

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          • Why im almost coming to believe you DO care who gets the credit.

            Have you noticed this is an article specifically about an Anonymous operation, on a website devoted to hacktivism news?

            It’s not an article about you. So if I were you, I would avoid throwing around unspecified and unfounded accusations of lies and inaccuracy.

            Apropos of nothing in particular, do you happen to know if Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Society has ever repudiated his stance that homicide is justified if it saves cetacean life?

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          • In reply to your post below –
            Nah, don’t care one iota. Just clarifying matters. Yep course I noticed, a site for anon pretenders to slap each other on the back.
            Won’t be back – not really interested if you won’t even leave your remarks open to replies!!
            Like I said those who know, do. No one else matters.
            Cheers!!

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          • You keep saying you don’t care. Comment after comment after comment. I’m almost beginning to think you DO care.

            Also, can you answer my question: whether Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Society still believes that homicide is justified if it saves cetacean life? It’s a question that has interested me since I first heard his position, back in the 90’s.

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          • Also, if my remarks are not open to replies, what are you doing here…replying?

            You said the article contained lies and inaccuracies and when asked to substantiate that claim you ducked. I stand by my reporting. You don’t seem to stand by your remarks, so I suggest you either substantiate them or apologize for them.

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          • Erm, I think I said that once. Are you seeing double? Suggest eye sight check?

            No ducking here I’m afraid.
            I won’t be naming names. So, therefore I won’t be able to clarify. People will figure it out for themselves as things unravel – there is no need for me to go against my beliefs in ‘outing’ people.

            But I won’t apologize for something which is fact. If I’d spouted lies then yeah, I’d apologize, but where one isn’t needed or due, then of course I won’t.

            Carry on reporting, but seriously, do some in-depth research next time. This report really is full of anomalies. Any reporter would surely do back up checks as standard, I would expect?

            If the people who are hinted at in the report wish to comment, then of course they can do so, but I won’t be the one to name anyone – ain’t my style.

            Feel free to delete all of my comments, I’m out of here now anyways, so any reply won’t be read. By me anyway.

            Like

          • Yes, yes, you ALSO keep saying you’re out of here. And you’d think that some rando who comes in claiming there are lies and inaccuracies in my report would either specify them or STFU, but substantiating things, that doesn’t seem like your style.

            Speaking of research, have you got an answer yet to my question about whether Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Society still advocates homicide if it saves cetacean life, as he did in the 90’s? When I worked at Greenpeace we used to wonder about that.

            How’s the tv show going?

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  2. This article states, quote “Unlike Anonymous, in the rest of the animal rights community there is much fundraising, and therefore the temptation to compete rather than collaborate is often a problem.”

    May I point out that the two ‘groups ‘ that are out in Taiji constantly, year after year, during the hunting season are Sea Shepherd and The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project. I do not believe that your above comment , especially regarding competition for fund raising is appropriate. It could give a false image of both of these wonderful organisations that have been directly involved in showing the world what is happening in Taiji and working tirelessly to bring an end to this atrocity.

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    • Having worked in the nonprofit community I can certainly second Gunchimp’s observation as a comment on the way Anonymous’ decentralized, amateur nature allows it to focus on issues without regard for their possible effect on donors.

      Like

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