What Adrian Chen got wrong about Anonymous and Scientology - 2014-11-18
Former Gawker writer Adrian Chen has a long and contentious history with the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous. We're not really very interested in that backstory (though a recent article shows that it's pretty juicy). And we're also not all that interested in the drubbing that Chen gave last week to McGill University professor Gabriella Coleman's new book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous.
We found Coleman's book to be pretty useful and fascinating, but Chen accused her of being too embedded with Anonymous so that she tended to overlook some of its faults. For an interesting counterpoint to Chen's piece in the Nation, we recommend David Auerbach's response in Slate.
Anyway, what did interest us, and what we feel qualified to comment on, was Chen's contention that one of the things Coleman overstates is the effect Anonymous had on Scientology. In fact, Chen seems to think that "Project Chanology," the specific effort by Anonymous to agitate against the church, had little to no effect at all.