In what is now a blocked tweet from a suspended Twitter account, Shirley Phelps-Roper of Westboro Baptist Church announced on Saturday plans to picket funerals following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that resulted in the tragic deaths of 27 people.
Following Westboro’s announcement of their plans, renowned hacktivist group Anonymous began a plot to discourage them from protesting at the funerals and bring national attention to this hate-mongering group.
Westboro Baptist, widely disdained for their homophobic beliefs and protests of veteran funerals, posted a press release (warning–offensive) and a now-blocked video titled “God sent the shooter” saying the calamity is God’s “message to Connecticut,” insinuating this is all punishment for gay marriage in America. Another tweet said the Church planned to “sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.”
Having previously attacked sites of NATO and the Church of Scientology, Anonymous’ latest ploy is to flat-out destroy the notorious Westboro Baptist Church.
In a viral video, the collective stated:
“We will not allow you to corrupt the minds of America with your seeds of hatred. We will not allow you to inspire aggression to the social factions which you deem inferior. We will render you obsolete. We will destroy you. We are coming.”
Along with the ominous video, Anonymous took down Westboro’s appallingly titled site, godhatesfags.com, and also published phone numbers, email addresses, and home addresses of several Westboro members.
Internet-famous 15-year-old hacker Cosmo the God also joined in the hubbub, hacking the Twitter account of Phelps-Roper (@DearShirley), gaining thousands of followers in just hours. He made the display name “Cosmo” and changed her background wallpaper to a heart that said “Pray for Newton.” Cosmo tweeted not only messages from several Westboro opponents, but also what is supposedly Phelps-Roper’s Social Security Number. Since yesterday, the Twitter account has been suspended.
On top of Anonymous’ tormenting of Westboro Baptist, they also have pushed an official petition to the White House for the government to “legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group,” which now has close to 200,000 signatures. Any petition over 25,000 signatures is automatically sent to review by the White House.
Maybe if Westboro Baptist had put larger effort into securing their content, they would not have been susceptible to the cyberattack. However, it’s safe to say the rest of the backlash still would have hit.
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