Anonymous Incurs Google+ Ban, Retaliates by Launching Own Social Network

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If you can’t join ‘em, try and beat ‘em—that’s the gist of the reaction by notorious hacker group Anonymous to several of its members’ accounts feeling the banhammer from Google’s new social network site, Google+. But instead of hacking Google+ in retaliation for the bans, Anonymous says it’s launching its own social networking site, dubbed “AnonPlus.”

“Expect us,” reads a caption under a lineup of headless suits supporting a Guy Fawkes mask (yep, the site’s already pseudo-live).

(LIST: The Biggest Pranks in Geek History)

“Welcome to AnonPlus. This will be your future. This will be our future. Today, we welcome you to begin anew…to watch this glorious incipience happen – one upon which you will never turn your back on,” reads the site’s mandate. Seditious yes, though eloquent, perhaps not.

“Welcome to the Revolution – a new social network where these is no fear of censorship…of blackout…nor of holding back,” continues the statement. “Life is what you make it – and we are making it. As you step through into the coming weeks, months, and years with us…they will know that we’ve arrived. There will be no more oppression. There will be no more tyranny. We are the people and we are Anonymous. We have arrived.”

Anonymous—specifically ‘youranonnews’—was banned from Google+ last week for harboring content that “violated” Google’s Community Standards (Google also yanked their Gmail account). The group says that at the time, it didn’t realize it was just one of several Anonymous accounts shown the door.

“This is the sad fact of what happens across the internet when you walk to a different beat of the drum,” opined the group on a subsidiary site. “We’ve all heard the stories of activists being banned from FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and governments blocking their people from these sites as well through organized black outs.”

“That day has came to an end. Not only did a few people organized [sic] an Operation [against] Google+, but we have started to build our own Social Network… The sheep era is over.  The interwebz are no longer your prison.”

Hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec have been relatively quiet in recent days, after news off worldwide arrests involving claimed members. LulzSec has since denied any of its core members were picked up, and at one point claimed it was disbanding, though the group’s Twitter account remains active and updated.

MORE: Why LulzSec’s Disbanding Doesn’t Really Mean Much at All

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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