The Anonymous collective has publicly pulled its support for Julian Assange and his infamous whistleblowing website, Wikileaks.
Taking issue with Assange’s personal use of the site and its monetization, one Anonymous Twitter account closely associated with the collective stated that Wikileaks had been ruined by egos.
“The end of an era. We unfollowed @Wikileaks and withdraw our support. It was an awesome idea, ruined by Egos. Good Bye. #Anonymous,” tweeted AnonymousIRC.
In a statement also tweeted by AnonymousIRC, the collective began to question its support of Wikileaks after the site started asking for users to pay for access to leaked documents.
"The idea behind WikiLeaks was to provide the public with information that would otherwise be kept secret by industries and governments. Information we strongly believe the public has a right to know," said the statement on behalf of Anonymous.
"But this has been pushed more and more into the background, instead we only hear about Julian Assange, like he had dinner last night with Lady Gaga. That's great for him but not much of our interest. We are more interested in transparent governments and bringing out documents and information they want to hide from the public."
The collective began questioning its support of Wikileaks “for a while” as the website began to concentrate more on its controversial founder rather than public access to information.
“In the recent month the focus moved away from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information further and further while it concentrated more and more on Julian Assange.”
Calling Wikileaks the “One Man Julian Assange Show,” the statement also reminded readers that AnonymousIRC is simply one of many Anonymous twitter accounts and cannot speak for the collective as a whole.
“This is merely one of many twitter accounts, albeit an established one over the recent years. But we know that we are certainly not alone within the Anonymous collective with this assessment of the situation. We have talked with many people on twitter, IRC and other communication platforms and the vast majority was appalled by this intrusive form of solicitation,” read the statement.
Anonymous has long defended Wikileaks, most notably in its attacks against Visa, Mastercard and Paypal after those companies blocked customers from using their services to donate money to the secret-sharing site last year.
In February, Anonymous worked directly with Wikileaks to publish the “Global Intelligence files” — a series of emails hacked from Stratfor, a global intelligence firm.