Disagreeing With TV Content in the Modern Age
Pro Al-Assad Group Hacks Al-Jazeera’s AJStream Twitter Account
7.5.2012—In the new internet age, when TV shows occupy the same communication space as the voice against the content on that show, voicing opposition to that show could mean a very different thing. The “Syrian Electronic Army” showed just that when they hacked the twitter account of Al-Jazeera’s TV show, “The Stream,” a daily news program revolving around the social media activity and citizen journalism of current issues.
The Syrian Electronic Army tweeted messages and links in support of Syria’s president, Bashar Al-Assad, using The Stream’s twitter handle, @AJStream. The Stream is just the latest of a list of 40-plus targets the hacker group attacked for sympathizing with Syrian rebel forces.
As TV shows move toward a heavier presence online, this type of “speaking out” against certain programming may become par for the course. Even last year, the hacker group Lulzsec hacked the PBS News homepage in response to the Wikileaks story that Frontline broadcasted before the site was hacked. Lulzsec published a story on the homepage claiming that deceased rapper Tupac Shakur was actually alive and living in New Zealand.
While the more notable examples of hacking in opposition of TV content has revolved around TV news, as TV content moves into the future, the twitter account of TV show celebrities, a disagreement about the decision of reality-show judges, or a distasteful commercial could earn content creators and all involved the ire of a hacker. The days of the angry letter sent to the TV station could be at its end.