Anonymous Hacktivist Gregg Housh Launches Action-Focused “Rebel News”
In the era of information overload and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s difficult to cut through all the white noise and find reliable information on truly important topics. That’s why Gregg Housh, prominent member of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, started Rebel News. Launched in August, the news organization aims not only to provide well-researched journalism on important topics, but also to show readers how they can take action on issues they care about.
“Our big plan is to drive more action on today’s important topics,” Housh said in a video posted on the Rebel News Kickstarter page. “Too much news these days is outrage porn. You read it and get angry. But instead of doing anything, you just move on to the next article.”
Articles on Rebel News end with “Take Action” boxes that inform readers about events, protests, petitions, donation links and groups that are currently taking action on the issues being discussed.
Rather than seeking money from opinionated investors, or publishing “clickbait” to guarantee revenue, Housh chose to crowdfund Rebel News via Kickstarter, turning the site’s users into its backers.
“Traditional investment models… come with opinions, constraints and all sorts of other conditions that shouldn’t influence the way the world gets its news,” the group wrote.
Rebel News content will not be filtered according to the agendas of investors and advertisers. Instead, it will publish the kind of journalism its readers want to see.
Rebel News has so far raised $3,935 of $65,000, and their Kickstarter campaign still has 29 days to go. Donations will keep Rebel News up and running and help pay writers, editors and artists living wages.
In addition to informative, well-researched longform articles and Take Action boxes, Rebel News will feature some interesting columns. “Activist How Tos,” teaches readers the basics of protest, nonviolent resistance, canvassing and other forms of political action. “Pivot Points” will enlighten readers regarding important historical turning points they didn’t learn about in history class.
Gregg Housh, founder of Rebel News describes himself on the group’s Kickstarter page as an “activist focused on internet freedoms, censorship, over-prosecution, Anonymous, police brutality and a lot more.” According to the Boston Globe, he pleaded guilty in 2005 to conspiracy to violate copyright laws. These days, according to the Huffington Post, Housh serves as a consultant for Hollywood writers who want to create believable hacker characters for shows like “House of Cards.”
Given its CEO’s background, it’s only natural to assume that Rebel News, while not subject to the agendas of big investors, will have its biases. The group acknowledged this on their Kickstarter page:
“We aren’t without our biases. Purely objective reporting is a fairy tale. We are, however, one of only a few news sources to put those biases right out in the open.”
Biases aside, Rebel News aims to “disrupt the echo chamber” of outrage news and cat videos that is modern media, and provide substantial, informative content that will inspire people to act.
“We’re not here to reinforce,” they wrote. “We’re here to challenge…our rebellion is against complacency.”
Photo by Pierre Rennes
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