Anonymous hacker hijacks ISIS Twitter account, posts gay pride messages

Anonymous hacker hijacks ISIS Twitter account, posts gay pride messages
© Twitter

A hacker affiliated with the loosely organized collective Anonymous is taking over the Twitter accounts of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) supporters and plastering them with rainbow images and other pro-LGBT messages.

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The hacker, who goes by the handle WauchulaGhost, launched the campaign in support of the victims of the Sunday mass shooting at the gay club Pulse, in Orlando. The attack, which killed 49 and wounded dozens of others, has been celebrated by ISIS-affiliated supporters on Twitter.

WauchulaGhost has hacked into more than 250 ISIS accounts over the past month, he told CNNMoney, originally posting explicit pornographic images “to humiliate them.”

“Daesh doesn’t like porn,” he told The Washington Post, using the Arabic name for ISIS. “They don’t like women in general. We just started using it to poke fun at them and diminish their presence online.”

But after the attacks in Orlando, he switched to posting gay pride messages.

"You had all those innocent lives lost," he told CNNMoney. "I just felt there's something I could do against the Islamic State to defend those people."

Many of the accounts WauchulaGhost has taken over are have been suspended by Twitter, which has a policy forbidding “terroristic content” on its platform.

The hacker has criticized the social media company for removing the accounts he has already hijacked, rather than accounts still under the control of ISIS supporters.

The company has suspended hundreds of thousands of accounts for tweeting terroristic content.

WauchulaGhost sees himself as a kind of online vigilante, working to undermine the terrorist group.

“I think we’re there to serve a purpose, at least I know I am,” he told the Post. “My goal waking up in the morning [is to] see messages from Daesh, telling me they’re going to kill me or cut my head off. The madder they get, the happier I get.”