“The word ‘hacker’ originally meant somebody who enjoyed exploring, playing with, or learning about computers. Like ‘phone phreak,’ it later shifted to have a negative connotation: somebody who breaks into or abuses computers.”
Hacktivism essential encapsulates online activism. Anonymous is probably biggest hacktivist collective, who are mainly known for their self-branding and their anti-authoritarian sense of online comeuppance.
They’re mainly recognized for pursuing online attacks as a form of non-violent protest, usually through DDoS, or Denial of Service attacks and further defacing of websites. Notable examples of Anonymous DDoS attacks include Church of Scientology websites in 2008, Aiplex Software in 2010 and most notably in 2011 ‘Operation Tunisia’ in support of Arab Spring movements with DDoS attacks on Tunisia government websites.
However, the idea that Anonymous are not a well publicized known hacktivist group and all members are anonymous does mean that the actions of a few can influence many. Due to the lack of barrier of entry into the group, not specifically the hacktivism aspect of the group the representation of Anonymous can be easily influenced.
Especially when you consider the hacker subculture encourages archaic foundation, there is no real leader – although Edward Snowden has been a significant figure – there is no authority to utilise and streamline large online movements.