Molly Sauter: “LOIC Will Tear Us Apart”—The Impact of Tool Design and Media Portrayals in the Success of Activist DDOS Actions

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Activist Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) actions such as Anonymous’ “Operation Payback” owe their success to the role of tool design and media coverage.

Through a close reading of changes in tool interface and functionality over several iterations, Molly Sauter—Berkman Center fellow and graduate student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT—considers the evolution of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) DDoS tool from an inwardly-focused community tool to one which engaged with a larger population. She also demonstrates how Anonymous helped reframe DDoS actions from a tool of direct action to a tool of media manipulation and identity construction.


Also in ogg for download

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