Hacktivism, Whistleblower Help, and Social News

Dear Brian,
Do many hacktivists and Anonymous members join their cause because they have nothing better to do?

The truth is in every activist circle since the beginning of time, there have been those lazy people who just wish they didn’t have to do anything to be treated like kings instead of peasants without contributing anything of value and have us all.

Any ideal system or utopia on paper ends up attracting these people, who exist within every social group. Even the wealthy sometimes find themselves with nothing better to do than commit their time to a cause.

Everyone from little kids to the elderly, rich or poor, that has ever existed in every nation in the entire history of the world has had plenty of moments in which they’ve had nothing better to do than support a cause.

So what is it you’re doing with you’re life that’s so much better than the value provided to society by helping others without asking for anything in return?

Have you personally cured cancer? Solved world hunger? Enabled world peace? Show me your inventions and accomplishments in life that were soooooooo much more vital than helping people around the globe accomplish a variety of feats, including the Arab Spring.

So let’s start with that – what have you accomplished in your life that you’d consider a greater accomplishment than that? Have you ever helped people gain access to the internet in a war zone?

Oh I’m sorry, were you too busy watching SpongeBob or beating another video game? Are these the almighty feats you’ve accomplished that should inspire humanity to build statues in your honor?

What can you think of that’s more important to live for and devote your time to than a cause? I don’t know if you paid attention in school, but some of history’s most noteworthy authors, philosophers, and leaders would argue a cause is all there truly is all there truly is to live for.

But yes…there are some lazy people in every bunch – it’s basic statistics, but I suppose you were too busy with your important feats of human accomplishment to devote any time to such frivolous and wasteful pursuits as math…

Dear Brian,
Are there federal agencies that will represent whistleblowers against a former employer?

Yes and no. It depends on the situation: what industry you worked in, what documentation and proof you have, and what the actual infraction was.

Talk to OSHA, as they provide limited whistleblower protections for certain violations.Occupational Safety and Health Administration

For financial fraud matters, there’s always the SEC. Welcome to the Office of the Whistleblower

In some circumstances the EEOC EEOC Home Page or your state Attorney General can assist NAAG | Who’s My AG?

If you contact all those organizations, and still can’t find help, there are still a large portion of both state and federal regulators that can assist, depending on who’s being affected by the problem.

Do you work at a bank? Around food? With alcohol? Industry-specific agencies can help you out.

Somehow, you’ve contacted all of these government resources and still nobody will help you? Not to worry – this is normal because corporations are generally cheating the system somehow. People are whiny, so these offices are always buried in complaints, but the non-profit Government Accountability Project pulls some of the extra weight at Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977. Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

If you’ve still not achieved a resolution, it’s because you need to find a Qui Tam attorney who can file a False Claims Act against your former company for damages incurred by the U.S. government due to your company’s actions. Qui Tam Explained | whistleblower lawyers | False Claims Act

If still nobody’s willing to help you, several media organizations like Wikileaks and even the NY Times, Guardian, and other media outlets have capability for secure chat and file transfers. Find and contact all reporters and attorneys related to your field to tell them you’re a whistleblower. They may be able to assist. WikiLeaks – en

Beyond these media organizations are the activists, home enthusiasts, hackers, pranksters, and trolls on the Internet. Track down Anonymous wherever they may lurk, and you may get valuable assistance. Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) | Twitter

At the end of the day, however, understand that you’re completely alone. It’s not hard to disappear someone, even in the modern environment with cameras seemingly everywhere. If you were a real threat, you’d be taken care of, but statistically you’re unlikely to succeed, and if you do put in the years it takes, you’ll only damage them for a fraction of what they made perpetrating whatever scam you’re looking to uncover.

Good luck, and I hope you succeed.

Dear Brian,
What is social news and how is it different from social networking?

The easiest way to differentiate them is the focus.

Social networking platforms focus ultimately on the user. When you navigate a social networking site like Facebook or LinkedIn, you’re focusing on the users.

Social news platforms like Digg and Reddit utilize the same basic feed/timeline structure but focus on the content, as they’re based on the RSS feed.

While they both do contain similar information, it’s curated for you in a different manner and therefore used for different purposes.

Twitter is interesting in that the simplistic nature of the microblogging service makes it ideal as both networking and news (whereas, the disappearing content in Snapchat makes it a comparatively unreliable news source, and the nature of Quora almost makes more of a social reference or Wiki than anything).

To get the most cutting edge information on social news, follow the topics you want to know about and look for information from trusted sourced in the industry. 

To get the most cutting-edge information on social networking, follow a trusted source and look for information about useful topics.

In either case, you can always just start asking around – thus the social aspect.

Brian Penny Versability Anonymous Whistleblower HeadshotBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Hardcore Droid, and your mom.

Versability

Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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