Global Digital Culture | The Cultures of Anonymity and Violence in the Mexican Blogosphere

Amaya, Hector
International Journal of Communication

This article analyzes the famous Mexican website El Blog del Narco as symptomatic of the type of publicity common in contemporary Mexico and the manner in which violence has structured the citizen journalism sector of the Mexican blogosphere. The article interrogates how the blog’s mode of production and its reliance on anonymity has propelled the bloggers—in particular, an anonymous blogger who refers herself as “Lucy”—to the level of civic heroes and how a global community of sympathizers made sense of her actions. In this violent context, Lucy has used anonymity as a necessary mechanism to construct a place of trust and safety. In the process, Lucy has embodied the contradictory figure of the anonymous hero. The analysis is indebted to Seyla Benhabib’s classic interrogation of Hanna Arendt’s notions of publicity—in particular, Arendt’s ideas of heroicity and self-disclosure.