Lost funds fuel row over Anonymous news feed

Anonymous protesters Image copyright AFP
Image caption The row means the future of the hugely popular news feed has been put in doubt

A row over missing cash has led to a dispute over control of a news feed run for Anonymous hacktivists.

In 2013, more than $54,000 (£32,000) was raised via the Indiegogo funding site to turn the YourAnonNews Twitter account into a rolling news service.

That venture is now in doubt as recruits try to work out what happened to the donated funds.

The row has led to some founding contributors to YourAnonNews being kicked off its controlling board.

Missing money

Since it was created the YourAnonNews Twitter account has been one of the main ways news and information about the Anonymous movement and its associated protests or "ops" have been shared. The account currently has more than 1.2 million followers.

Its popularity prompted the Indiegogo campaign and drew many others to get involved with the project.

However, soon after they joined, problems with the way the funding project was run became apparent, said a document shared online at the weekend.

To begin with, a lot of the merchandise people had bought to help support the Twitter feed had not been posted out to customers. Volunteers ran a separate small scale funding drive to raise $9,000 so the merchandise, including mugs, hats and hoodies, could be sent out to customers.

That work also exposed holes in the accounts of YourAnonNews, said the document, and revealed that only $14,000 of the cash donated via Indiegogo could be accounted for.

"By all accounts it is agreed about $30k is missing," said a statement posted on the YourAnonNews website.

The investigation into the missing money has led to Christopher Banks, one of the founding members of YourAnonNews being cut off from the main Twitter account. Based in Denver, Mr Banks has reportedly refused many times to explain what happened to the missing Indiegogo cash he was instrumental in raising and administering.

To make matters more complicated, four people who helped investigate what happened to the cash and were helping to run the YourAnonNews feed have fallen out over the best way to carry on.

This new row led one member of this group to cut off the other three people from the Twitter account. Now, he too has stepped back from running the news feed. Instead, it has been handed over to other activists based in Denver who are also associated with the Anonymous movement.

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