Ferguson: Twitter Suspends Anonymous Account That Possibly Outed Wrong Guy, Anon Ceases Doxxing

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As tensions spill over in Ferguson, Missouri, over the police shooting of an unarmed teen and the subsequent protests and police response, Twitter has suspended the account of an Anonymous chapter which claimed to have outed the officer involved.

Five days ago, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer. Accounts of the incident vary, but what is known is that Brown was unarmed at the time. The Ferguson Police Department has declined to release the name of the officer who killed Brown, citing concerns for his safety.

That doesn't sit well with the protesters, who took to the streets Wednesday and were eventually fired upon with rubber bullet and tear gas. It also didn't sit well with the operator of the @TheAnonMessage Twitter account, who promised to dox the officer (reveal his identity) since the police department wouldn't.

Early on Tuesday, the account tweeted out the name of the officer, as well as photos taken from his Facebook account.

Turns out, it may have been the wrong guy. The St. Louis County Police Department tweeted that the man outed by the Anonymous account is not even an officer with Ferguson or St. Louis County PD.

"Do not release more info on this random citizen," they asked.

Other Anonymous accounts, including the most-popular one, @YourAnonNews, are still up and running and while supporting the cause, they make it clear that they were not responsible for revealing anything.

Thus is the nature of Anonymous – fragmented. It's not one centralized group, instead a collection of independent operators all flying under the same flag, if you will.

The operators of the original @TheAnonMessage account have apparently launched a backup account, @TheAnonMessage2. They say that "censoring us is an act of war."

But they also say they are holding back on the doxxing for now.

As the country looks to Ferguson, President Obama has called for an "open inquiry" into the shooting and reports indicate that the FBI will soon take over operations from the local police department.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

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