By Bridie Strowe- Bolger
While hackers are vilified, many act as digital activists for good to defend the safety of the innocent online. The modern scourge of Cyberbullying we experience today survives on the guaranteed anonymity of the internet, but what would happen if that anonymity was lost? While the Great LonDini doesn’t make information public, their ability to find a person’s real identity in “7-8” clicks is not fictional. Social media’s power to make people famous, or “viral,” is just one of its many assets in affecting our lives, but recently, a hacker group has gone viral for exposing the real-life identities of cyberbullies.
The first thing you see when you go on The Great LonDini’s website is their mission statement, “We are the protectors of the innocent; a positive movement seeking to end racism, bullying, and scamming on social media.”
While their signature mask elicits fear, The Great LonDini follows a strict set of rules laid out to keep them a balanced source of ‘justice’ online. This includes things such as a zero tolerance policy for bullying, a refusal to be involved in political matters and restrictions from doxing and threatening, all of these resulting in dissociation from the organization.
In an interview with the BBC, the ‘face’ of the Great LonDini, Leo, revealed that the Great LonDini is a group of ‘white-hat hackers’ who focus on exposing nefarious users and trolls of the clock app. Typical members of the group are hackers with former military experience, indicating an interesting turn in loyalty. We see these vigilante’s making a shift between soldiers, working for the government then turning to activism from outside the law; this activism is against movements that have been willingly institutionalized within the government by officials.
While their work is fascinating, the Great LonDini organization raises a heated debate in law and government since their work focuses could expand into more subjective territories than pedophilia and racism. This raises the question from many governments: should an attempt be made to stop them?
The Great LonDini has been banned on over ten accounts multiple times by TikTok. The existence of internet vigilantes such as The Great LonDini or Anonymous seems to threaten the power of government, even though they don’t actively fight against it (At least most of the time), because they show the beginning of a power shift through following.
Complexities of the modern era bring up many questions about internet safety and possible constraints and laws on its users, and white-hat hackers are one of them. White-hats actively work to help make the digital world safer for everyone to use freely as the safe space it was meant to be. The sheer amount of hate received by the Great LonDini shows how opposed people are to being held accountable for their problematic actions, but it also marks a digital polarization in the modern age. This trend of polarization has been encouraged since the conception of social media, and the supported statistics show it, proved by this recent rise in digital vigilantism.