As a journalist, I am sworn to bring facts to light by any means necessary. So here is a picture of me in a tutu with a shoe on my head at Gawker HQ. (A size 9 1/2 men's Reebok Question, to be exact.)
Anonymous had demanded that Gawker post this picture before they granted interviews to anyone about their latest hack that's freaked out the internet: 12 million Apple device IDs, allegedly stolen from an FBI cybersecurity agent's laptop. If true, the revelation of an enormous database of iPhones and iPads on an FBI computer would have worrying privacy implications.
But yesterday Anonymous wrote in a press release accompanying the leak of one million of the IDs:
no more interviews to anyone till Adrian Chen get featured in the front page of Gawker, a whole day, with a huge picture of him dressing a ballet tutu and shoe on the head.
And so far, Anonymous hasn't released any more details about the alleged hack—even as the FBI has claimed the group lied about the data coming from them.
I wanted at least some sense that Anonymous' offer wasn't just for the lulz, as they say, before I posted this and further stained my already-pretty-stained Google results. So I signed on to Anonymous' IRC chatroom and asked why I should trust the author of press release.
"I do understand your position, i'd like a word before stunting like that, too xD," one of his colleagues said. "On the bright side, I've worked with him for long time now and the man does live up to his word." The author himself went offline soon after posting the press release and hasn't returned.
But why me?
"People don't actually like you that much," said another Anonymous member. He then linked to a May Facebook post in which another Anon complained about how I'd called bullshit on a ludicrous claim that Anonymous had access to "every classified database in the U.S." Anonymous and I have had a rocky relationship since I first started writing about them in the summer of 2010, in fact.
So, there's me in a tutu. Get used to it because it's going to be up until around 6:30pm tomorrow. (I left my shirt on, because nobody needs to see that. )