The sale of ubiquitous mask used by the group of hackers ‘Anonymous’ actually benefits Time Warner, the type of company that the group protests against.
Anonymous, the infamous group of hackers, have long championed the downfall of some of society’s more corrupt elements. From opposing governments, to attacking the Church of Scientology and websites of companies such as Visa, MasterCard and other global corporations, the group has long championed the freedom of information. However when they are forced to meet in public to protest censorship the protective anonymity of the Internet is replaced by other means of hiding identity.
The Guy Fawkes mask – the 17th century Englishman made famous by his attempt to blow up parliament – has become the adornment of choice for the group. Made famous by the ‘V for Vendetta’ movie, produced in 2006 by Warner Brothers, the mask’s stark white face, wide grin and angled moustache provides the perfect image of secrecy, rebellion and unity for the anarchic group.
Since thousands of people first donned the mask to protest against the Church of Scientology in 2008, it has become a universal symbol for the hacker’s group, something which owners of costume stores have seemingly been slow to realise. Stores across the states have regularly sold out of the masks, and it is also the top selling mask on Amazon, trouncing the serious competition: Harry Potter and Batman.
Unknown to many of these activists however, is that with each sale of a mask Time Warner, one of the largest media companies in the world, is paid a licensing fee. Thereby the huge upsurge in the sale of these masks, which go for around $6 each, are directly benefiting the $28 billion revenue the company accrued last year.