The Brief: A digilante is a digital vigilante.
The term digilante refers to a digital vigilante, someone who is set on serving what they see as justice online. Typically the term is used with a negative connotation to imply that people are acting with a mob mentality. Large fandoms like Barbz and K-pop stans have been known to engage in digilante activities, working together to spread a certain message, take someone down, or fight with rivals.
Examples of digilante behavior may include extreme measures like harassment, bullying, or doxing. It may also refer to tactics that aren’t harmful but are more focused on holding people accountable like calling them out, fact-checking, or spreading facts to counter misinformation. There’s also digilante trolling and pranking. In 2020, many K-pop stans and Gen Z-ers united to engage in what could be considered online activism or digilante attacks as they spammed police websites, took over white supremacist hashtags, and signed up for Trump’s Tulsa rally as a prank. Anonymous is a group well-known for its digilante activism which has included hacking websites and leaking documents.
Digilante is the title of an Australian documentary about the backlash that occurred after a video of a racist and hateful rant went viral online.