Online hacktivist: the digital Robin Hood

Once upon a time in ancient England, there was a young, handsome (I don’t believe this), brave, and chilvarious man named Robin Hood. He was famous for his great personality of helping people, fighting against criminals and stealing from the rich to give the poor.

How sweet he is.

It does not matter whether Robin Hood actually existed or he was an imaginative product, but his image did create a belief f0r social equality. Personally, I do not advocate the idea that there should be no rich and no poor, because the differentiation between classes is the base for social development.However, this week topic brought me to a place where I think there is a huge need for Robin Hood, and undoubtedly, it is the digital world.

“Robin Hood is a man who tends to give to others what he CAN claim as his own. He steals right? So he can claim all stolen to be his’, but no, he did not. He stuck to the idea of giving it the poor because that is what really the reason why he did it.”

– Anonymous – (actually anonymous, not the hackers’ team).

According to our lecturer Ted in this week lecture, hacker ethics include ‘sharing, information freedom, no secrets’. Julian Assange, Wikileak’s founder, once said: “Don’t damage the computer system you break into, don’t change the information in those systems, and share information”.


Finally, the image of Robin Hood makes sense to me.

We are in the ‘attention economy’, where our attention becomes valuable. We are bombarded with massive amount of information everyday, so our attention should be spent on precious information. Therefore, we have the right to approach information that we are supposed to approach, which leads to a free flow of information. Subsequently, there is a need for white-hat hacktivists, who break the barriers and allow cyberspace citizens to get rid of control and regulation, and enjoy the digital equality.



23 thoughts on “Online hacktivist: the digital Robin Hood”

  1. How nice it is to begin with a folk tale. It really makes your post different and more interesting. Robin Hood is a great example to make the topic easily understandable. When we are unable to control our data and knowledge, there must be someone to pioneer and take what belongs to the public back to us. Anonymous is playing the role of Robin Hood in terms of cyberspace, and they portray themselves as Robin Hood. Despite what they have done for us, outlaws could be a risk. May you would like to have a look at this article (

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome take and remediation of this weeks topic, and with this I cannot help but to allude to Edward Snowden – A cyberspace Robin Hood who works for the public. I personally think it was really brave and could go as far as to call it heroic in terms of his actions []

    The Guardian actually wrote a really good piece on the NSA files that you might be interested in.

    Thanks for sharing Cuong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sonny,

      I totally agree with you that Edward Snowden is definitely one ‘Robin Hood’ of the cyberspace. He fits perfectly with my argument. However, the reason why I did not mention a particular example in my post is that every single hacktivist can be a Robin Hood in this digital era.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing.


      1. I have wrestled with this as well. I do182&#n7;t post photos of my son or his name on the blog. I keep all photos for family on FB. It is a tough call, like many things in parenting, I am just hoping I am making the right choices!


  3. Great use of Robin Hood to allow better understanding of this week’s topic, a very clever and imaginative take on the topic. Like Robin Hood, groups like Anonymous definitely bring forward questions of morality in terms of the intentions behind using their voice to bring justice and alternatively the criminality of their actions. We as users of the Internet must decide whether what they do is good or bad. I stumbled across this debate – see which side you agree with

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Taylor,

      It liked it that you mentioned Anonymous. The crew is definitely an image of Robin Hood.
      I think activists’ action can be positive as long as it serves the purpose of publishing hidden information that can be harmful to the public and do not damage the resource they break into. Otherwise the border is blurred.

      Thanks for your comment and suggestion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never thought of Robin Hood in this regard. Are you saying that Julian Assange or Ed Snowden are modern age Robin Hoods? I do like this concept. If information is the digital currency, then hackers are definitely the criminals. But crime can sometimes be justified as evident in the work of Robin Hood. Moreover, I like the idea that some hackers are heroes, despite the negative connotations that are often associated with them. Do you think that the stigma towards hackers will ever disappear?
    Here is an article I thought you might find interesting, it might shed some light and add some depth to your blog regarding white hat hackers:,1-1151.html

    PS Great Meme. Fantastic movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nick,

      Personally I consider the stigma could be held still, but the hackers will not care. They simply do what they consider right, and they will have their fans for their actions. They choose to be called ‘hackers’ so definitely don’t pay much attention about what others think.

      Thanks for your comment and your suggested source.


  5. I actually really enjoyed this post due to the allusion of Robin Hood in your writing, it makes me think of hackers all around the world dressing up in green outfits when they sit down at their computers with their fingers dancing across the keyboard entering the pentagons systems and starting a nuclear war. Hacktivism truly is a subculture which leaves the question of Good or Bad which also synchronises with your argument of Robin Hood being a similar character in this way. However, in this article, it mentions that hackers are less like Robin Hood, and more like the dynamic duo of Bonnie and Clyde ( It makes sense if you also relate it to information as currency (in relation to the attention economy) as hackers steal this information and sometimes keep it for themselves, sometimes share it, but it always amounts to their benefit. Its funny how relatable hackers are to so many characters in our society who also fight against oppression and fight for the little guy, well, sort of.

    Enjoyed your meme 🙂

    ~ krisesandchrosses ~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there,

      I am laughing so hard reading your saying about hackers wearing Robin Hood outfit. Pretty interesting.
      I also enjoy they way you relate hackers to Bonnie and Clyde. It’s great to look at the problem in another perspective.

      Thanks for your comment and suggestions.


  6. Fantastic use of example with Robin Hood – I feel like he, whether fictional or not – holds the same moral compass as the hacktivist group ‘anonymous’, to reveal things that will benefit the ‘lower’ people. While I agree with you that there is definitely a need for an online Robin Hood, where is the line drawn? How do they determine what they reveal and what the consequences are? This article represents these ideas I’ve just mentioned, as it’s hard to decipher who really deserves to have their private information shared online.


    1. Hi Lily,

      I enjoyed your proposal of the idea that the consequences of those Robin Hood’s actions could be too significant that out of their expectation and control. Your source explains much of this.

      Thanks for the comment and the source.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think your spot-on with your Robin Hood metaphor! Hacktivism is, much like Robin Hood, a form of vigilance which I think is really important, provided that the intentions are well-meaning. I do, however, understand the viewpoint of those who believe that Hacktivism is dangerous and a form of treachery. Really liked reading your post, and I really wish I had thought of the Robin Hood aspect hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Drawing readers in with a story is brilliant, and it works perfectly to illustrate the key concepts raised in regards to hacktivism. Your post does leave me with a question: why do you feel the digital world needs an equal playing field as compared to the physical world. You mention favouring divide in the physical space to enable social development through classes, but what makes the internet different? Interested to hear more of your thoughts!

    Also your quote attribute made me laugh. Well done.


  9. let#;8217&s face it, you never know how living together is going to go, and living together in our room, and with all the stress and changes going on in our lives right now, it could have been a


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