The word "mask" appeared in English in the 1530s, from Middle French masque "covering to hide or guard the face", derived in turn from Italian maschera, from Medieval Latin masca "mask, specter, nightmare".
This word is of uncertain origin, perhaps from Arabic maskharah مَسْخَرَۃٌ "buffoon", from the verb sakhira "to ridicule".
In response, Anonymous protested the litigious methods of the Church of Scientology over a period of several months.
Protesters were encouraged to hide their faces, since it was common practice for Church members to photograph anti-Scientology protesters.
One German author claims the word "mask" is originally derived from the Spanish más que la cara (literally, "more than the face" or "added face"), which evolved to "máscara", while the Arabic "maskharat" - referring to the buffoonery which is possible only by disguising the face - would be based on these Spanish roots.
Other related forms are Hebrew masecha= "mask"; Arabic maskhara مَسْخَرَ = "he ridiculed, he mocked", masakha مَسَخَ = "he transfomed" (transitive).
The use of a mask on an effigy has long roots as part of Guy Fawkes Night celebrations.
The masks both conceal the identity and protect the face of individuals and demonstrate their commitment to a shared cause.
So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It feels like a character I created 30 years ago has somehow escaped the realm of fiction." The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I'm happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way.
My feeling is the Anonymous group needed an all-purpose image to hide their identity and also symbolise that they stand for individualism – V for Vendetta is a story about one person against the system.
The Guy Fawkes mask is a stylised depiction of Guy Fawkes, the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot.
The plot was an attempt to blow up the House of Lords in London on 5 November 1605, in order to restore a Catholic head of state.