Though maligned by some as simply the world's largest V for Vendetta fan club, the headlines-snatching hacktivist collective known (or, perhaps, unknown) as Anonymous likely enjoys the influential benefits of a much larger presence than you might assume. According to new research from University of Copenhagen graduate student Yevgeniy Golovchenko, the global group's "absolute minimal size" currently stands at a theoretical 22.2 million — a number Golovchenko culled from poring over 2,770 different Anonymous-affiliated Facebook pages.
Golovchenko's sole intention was to "show the enormity and connectivity of the Anonymous movement at a global level," according to the frustratingly perplexing oxymoron that is Christian Science Monitor. Among the greatest revelations in Golovchenko's cursory research is the purported status of Anonymous as wholly indicative of the power of "a parallel world, or really worlds, that live on Facebook" and (potentially) other digital platforms.
Of course — as the name clearly implies — the group operates beneath a strictly maintained digital veil of secrecy. Though no official claim of responsibility has been issued, many have started to trace Wednesday's brief NYSE shutdown to Anonymous — mainly in reference to this tweet: