Anonymous threatening Iggy Azalea bothers me. I think reasonable people can agree that whether or not she has fabricated a persona as an entertainer that’s unacceptable to the audience she is purveying her music to is a point worth debating. The Iggy Azalea debate can be heated, inappropriate, and downright offensive – but it stays a debate.
Anonymous is this nebulous theory of a collective who is doing social justice by writing wrongs through the power of the internet – like exposing cops who are members of the Klan, rapists who hide behind pseudonyms, things like that. We accept that they make our world a better place because they are legion, and no one person can be held accountable for anonymous.
Now if you assume that making the world a better place means we should have an open forum for healthy debate, then hacking and d0xxing Iggy Azalea is exactly the wrong thing for them to do. It doesn’t make them advocates for social justice, it makes them advocates for never having an opinion on Iggy Azalea one way or another – a world where you should live in fear of their swift retaliatory strikes.
If you dare to speak up for her saying “A lot of people attack her for being a woman with power regardless of cultural appropriation” you become a target. If you dare to speak against her saying “Igloo Australia deserves it, she’s a phony white bitch acting black” then you are setting up the unreasonable standard that anybody at any time can be d0xxed if they are judged to be in “noncompliance” to a social justice standard.
If you stop and take a good hard look at the value of and meaning behind “freedom of speech” being an inalienable basic human right it’s intended to defend the intentionally offensive, the unintentionally offensive, and even the accidentally offensive. Whatever offensive thing is said, no matter the purpose behind it, throwing someone in jail for it is unconscionable. Whether you’re protesting a police action in the 1960’s or a police state in the 2010’s makes no difference – and if you’re offensive while doing so it makes no difference. Taking away freedom of speech for anyone may not diminish you individually but diminishes us ALL collectively – we are all less free to have an opinion particularly about people and corporations who are wealthier and more powerful than us.
Beyond that society sets its own limits for the greater good. If you yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater and someone is trampled to death, you’re liable to be prosecuted for endangering the public. I don’t think any reasonable person can conclude that Iggy Izalea, no matter how offensive you find her, has actually caused that kind of chaos and mayhem. The only chaos that has erupted is the threats against HER for daring to open her mouth and have an opinion. The irony for Anonymous is that they make the very person they find so repugnant a sympathetic victim of their attempt to stifle her basic human rights through threats against her to ruin her life.
Whether you like Iggy Azalea or not, she doesn’t deserve to have her personal information leaked online. Maybe in the end no one does. We laugh when Anonymous exposes the cretins and scumbags of the world for who and what they are, but very few of us would like that laser guided missile aimed at us. The very tools they are using are what we fear our government doing to us with the broadly overreaching tools given to them by the Patriot Act– snooping on our personal lives for their own malicious purposes. I don’t know if that’s the world they really want to create, but I know it’s the kind of world I don’t want to live in.