Unfolding #Anonymous on Twitter

The networks behind the mask


  • Davide Beraldo University of Amsterdam




anonymous; digital methods; network analysis; social movements; actor-network theory


This paper presents a comprehensive empirical investigation of the range of actors, issues and sub-groups related to the hashtag Anonymous on Twitter between 2012 and 2015. Complementing existing studies that have provided in-depth accounts of Anonymous from a specific point of view, this research provides an overview of the network related to the discursive construction of Anonymous on Twitter from a synoptic standpoint. In particular, the analysis covers three dimensions: the structure and dynamics of the #Anonymous interaction network; the range of issues that Anonymous has been associated with; and the relation between Anonymous and its offshoots. This research provides a descriptive characterization of the topological and semantic complexity of Anonymous and invites to reflect on the simplifications that our vocabulary and methods entail vis a vis the complexity of digital entities delimited by and individuated through hashtags.

Author Biography

Davide Beraldo, University of Amsterdam

Assistant professor of new media, data and information in the Department of Media Studies and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam




How to Cite

Beraldo, D. (2022). Unfolding #Anonymous on Twitter: The networks behind the mask. First Monday, 27(1). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v27i1.11723