Lord Alan Sugar is Britain’s answer to Donald Trump. Well as much as in that he’s the man behind the desk firing people on the UK’s “Apprentice”.
He’s also pretty active on twitter having just short of 2 million followers, so it’s not an understatement to say, he’s pretty popular and influential when compared to the average person.
Anyhow, on this lazy Sunday morning, I was scrolling through my tweets when I came across this one:
In case you’re wondering, this was very much a sarcastic tweet.
Kevin O’Sullivan, is a Journalist with the British newspaper the Mirror, and he clearly wrote an article on the Apprentice which wasn’t to Lord Sugars’ liking.
Put yourself in Lord Sugar’s position. You work hard, create a (in your opinion) great T.V. show and some reporter unfairly criticizes it. It’s not something you can really take to court. So your options are to either accept it and shut up, or you retaliate by sharing your pain with your twitter followers.
The problem with this approach is that conceptually, this is not too far off from what a group like Anonymous would do.
Let’s look at some of the characteristics:
1. A person or company make a statement, perform an action or support a cause that you do not agree with.
2. You feel as if there is no “fair” legal route you can pursue.
3. You launch a retaliation to make a statement such as a DDOS or more sophisticated attack (and as a byproduct instill fear in anyone else ever thinking of going against you).
4. In the process of retaliation personal details are usually leaked
I’m not an expert in Anonymous or their real motives or actions, but you can find out more if you have a read of Josh Corman and Brian Martin’s article which goes into the workings of Anonymous in greater detail.
I’m keeping this at a high level and simply asking the question that Lord Sugar read something he didn’t agree with and instead of privately sharing his thoughts, or being in any way constructive, he exposed the email address of Kevin OSullivan and invited 2million people to DDOS his inbox. Knowing full well that a lot of people will end up hurling insults at Mr. O’Sullivan purely for having an opinion. Thus sending a clear message out to other journalists that if they dare print anything that his Sugar-ness doesn’t agree with, they could face the wrath of his social media army.
Maybe there is absolutely nothing with this. Maybe this is how business will be conducted from now on. But then, we must also stop using phrases like ‘terrorist activity’ to describe Anonymous when they simply ask a few million people to DDOS a company’s website because they don’t agree with some of their policies.
We can’t have it both ways.
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