Long before any group had an association with the name Anonynomous it was a concept of cyber-citizenry that came with the dawning of a social media age.
My own initial postings to alternate news sites that began to to dot the virtual realms back in 2003 were done under a pseudonym that was as much about being liberated from any attachment to my personal life as it was about exploring freedom to be anyone.
There's a very real difference when your name goes onto things the words stay with you, but it doesn't always have to be tied to what is on our driver's license as virtual relationships and characters unfold over time and posters in virtual realms prove to be more genuine than shills who sell us %$#@ under the guise of news or advice because it feeds their ego and bank account.
But what has happened in the evolution of this digital age is a growing divide between the names and sources we are conditioned by American culture to trust and the anonymous sources who challenge that reality.
One of my early discoveries as a denizen of the digital world was to learn how many others there were who felt like me, tired of being fed a narrow view of the world and unhappy with the cherry picked experts who were cited to give those positions credibility.
Initially the Internet wasn't a place that drew me in by its possibilities, heaven knows the basic challenges of rigid rules of connectivity and interface are fundamentally unsuited to my temperament which likes cooking without measuring and mixing colors by eye and navigating through volumes of paper happening upon unexpected details as opposed to specified search criteria that can yield totally useless results.
What happened was an evolutionary process that led me to abandon traditional media by degrees. Each time an organization refused to talk about the genetically engineered foods or the collapse of WTC7 or a growing list of unanswered questions that seemed little more than a censorship list it pushed me farther into the a search for answers in a place that had no limits on what could be asked.
It was a relief to find new global communities built around common issues or shared values, even when specific agreement on topics was impossible there were perspectives and resources available to me in minutes that a month in the library microfilm couldn't uncover.
There are also some simple truths that are incontrovertible and once you see behind the lies everything changes. If it is confusing to sort through the health claims on a food package in the grocery story it is immeasurably insightful to learn that the wonderful television ad produced to explain how high fructose corn syrup is just sugar is part of a well funded PR campaign by Rick Berman, a man nicknamed Dr. Evil, a corporate success and media icon.
Not only that, we the citizens of America are sold wars by defense industry giants and investment opportunities by brutal dictators by the same firms who make a living telling us toxic sludge is good for us. Once we see the lies and liars for who they are, should we continue to trust a media that uses them as staples for informing us?
Not me! I'll take a mountain of time honored anonymous friends like those at Newsvine who have become site guides or long term trusted sources over corporate media. Though I have no clue about the identity of the people like Rottlady or Red Wolf who share so much and are so genuine they are worth all the six figure CNN & NBC reporters combined.  ]
But what we have now is a world that isn't shaped solely by a corporate information machine yet it works tirelessly to marginalize and vilify the voices of dissent that are a growing volume and number of global citizens.
But we have seen the truth, tasted the forbidden fruit so to speak and we are legions of anonymous citizens filling cyberspace now, aware and awake, refugees from propaganda and marketing. We are waiting to see if corporate media follows us to a better world or becomes a relic of an era before information was free and a generation came of age shunning the fear mongering beware all but us mantra, to embrace being aware truth is out there and the opportunity redefine the rules as well. Knowledge is power, expect change to flow as it grows.
1 -Please note those two Newsviners were picked as an example because so many here know and respect their sterling reputations, built without identities from a passport. I know they will take it as the compliment intended, without spotlighting other individuals who are equally deserving regardless of their use of real names or pseudonyms, but open for other types of criticism if named by me.