Google+ suspends Anonymous account, hacktivists announce AnonPlus in response

Filed Under: Privacy, Social networks

The Anonymous hacktivist group has announced that it will launch its very own social network, to be called AnonPlus, after accounts it held with Google+ were suspended for violating terms and conditions.

Anonymous suspended on Google+. Click for larger version

Google+ has recently been enforcing a policy of shutting down profiles which contain fake names or those that represent organisations rather than individuals, so it's not exactly surprising to see Anonymous-related profiles being zapped.

AnonPlus, Anonymous's answer to the likes of Google+, is far from ready, however.

A team of 17 Java developers has been announced on the site's holding page, alongside a manifesto announcing the "new social network where there is no fear of censorship" and "no more oppression", but it seems that any working infrastructure for AnonPlus is some considerable way off still.


It's hard not to be cynical about the prospects of a new social network being built from scratch.

Yes, Google - with all the resources it has available - appears to have done a good job with Google+, but surely a loosely-knit amateur collective like Anonymous, which rejects organisational constructs, will have a much steeper challenge.

Anyone remember Diaspora? They had the advantages of support from many and even some funding, but they seem to have gone awfully quiet lately, don't they?

It will be interesting to see if AnonPlus becomes popular if/when it launches with the very people it is intended to help - those who are being prevented by oppressive regimes from sharing information freely and safely with the rest of the world.

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13 Responses to Google+ suspends Anonymous account, hacktivists announce AnonPlus in response

  1. Mark · 1505 days ago

    If Facebook has a problem with porn and child abuse images it will likely be a much bigger problem on this site (assuming it does take off the ground). I'm guessing they won't restrict legal porn but I hope illegal content will still be dealt with while on their quest for freedom of speech and anonymity. Nothing justifies turning a blind eye to the kinds of activities some people have been using Facebook for.

  2. GGG · 1505 days ago

    Awesome, maybe they wont hoard our personal information like facebook and google do. If they did, that would be awfully hypocritical.

  3. Joe · 1505 days ago

    you're wrong. Diaspora is going to change the world.

  4. Lateral · 1505 days ago

    You're writing this on WordPress on Apache on Linux and you don't think loose collectives can write software? Facebook didn't succeed because it had a large pro development team and Diaspora's inevitable failure won't be because they don't!

    • Paul Ducklin · 1505 days ago

      I don't know what Graham thinks, but I don't think he said that loose collectives can't write software :-)

      In fact, he said that "a loosely-knit amateur collective like Anonymous, which rejects organisational constructs, will have a much steeper challenge" in building a social network than Google did.

      And I see every reason to assume that Facebook's development team has been one of the key factors in the speed and the extent of its growth. I don't much like Facebook's user interface - all those fiddly little web boxes which encourage quantity over quality in communication to maximise saleable clicks - but in terms of scalability, availability and concurrency, you'd have to admit, the Facebook coders have done pretty well.

      (Interestingly, it seems Facebook makes heavy use of Erlang - an open source language developed by the very antithesis of a loose amateur collective, namely, a telephone company :-)

      • Lateral · 1505 days ago

        Yes, props to the Facebook development team, they've put together some amazingly scalable stuff. Scalability is nothing without demand though and my contention is that if you took that amazing Facebook team and put them onto Diaspora you'd still have a beautifully scalable flop. On the flip side, if you have a really popular service with debatable development skills you can still get a Twitter : )


  5. Lateral · 1505 days ago

    I expect this will appeal to the same people that made FreeNet the success it is today:

  6. "Yes, Google - with all the resources it has available - appears to have done a good job with Google+, but surely the chances for a loosely-knit amateur collective like Anonymous who reject organisational constructs, will have a much steeper challenge"
    Maybe the author forgot that all GNU, and Linux and the Open Source Software were started and completed by similar "loosely-knit amateur collective" they gave the infrastructure for projects like Google itself and Facebook. Both started by using open source products developed by like-minded loosely-knit amateurs, and they changed the way big corporations like IBM and Microsoft and Oracle do business. This is not to predict that Anonymous would succeed or not in their project, success or failure has nothing to do with "big organization and major corporation throwing it's weight behind a project - thing Google Buzz, or a bunch of kids in a garage doing something new - think Twitter or Facebook"

    • Paul Ducklin · 1505 days ago

      Ahhh, GNU. How longingly we await the release of its operating system, Hurd :-)

      I'd suggest that one of the reasons for the success of Linux - once it became what one might call mainstream - is precisely that the core of the project _isn't_ "a loosely knit amateur collective which rejects organisational constructs".

      It's actually a rather well-organised project consisting of a fairly closely-knit team, wouldn't you say? And Linux faced a pretty steep challenge to be taken seriously in its early years. Ironically, that was probably as much to do with having to knit your own ModeLines for your X config than the OS itself :-)

  7. Mrs. W · 1505 days ago

    So, wait. . . hackers with a history of breaking into websites and cavalierly publishing the reams of user data they find there are now supposed to be trusted to protect some of that very same personal data?

    No thanks. I'll pass. . .

  8. nate · 1390 days ago

    Yeah, because anyone actually gives a f- about G+.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley