Unethical or Necessary: the Wikileaks Discourse
Ever since WikiLeaks announced its existence in 2006, it has been a hotbed of controversy. Just what is it and why can’t some people stop hating on it? Tipit investigates.
What is WikiLeaks?
A lot of people know WikiLeaks because of all the controversy that it creates every time it publishes a post. They have gotten a reputation for publishing classified information and documents that are accepted from anonymous sources. As you can understand, this man not sit well with a lot of people as they demand to know who the source is in order to decide if the information is credible or not.
The man behind WikiLeaks is Julian Assange. He claims that his site aims to provide the “real” facts and information that is normally kept from the public. Another one of their goals is to fight for the rights of whistleblowers and journalists in their quest to discover and share the truth.
There are many who say that WikiLeaks puts countries and governments in danger with their publicized classified information. Just as large in number are those that believe that Assange and his organization are providing quite a valuable service.
One of their more controversial releases was entitled “Collateral Murder” where in an airstrike in Baghdad done by the US forces killed Iraqi journalists that were on the ground. In the 2016 USA elections, WikiLeaks put forward a lot of conspiracy theories regarding the candidate Hillary Clinton.
One of the reasons why Assange gets a bad reputation is that there are many who believe that he publishes reports without considering the consequences. Unlike Edward Snowden who has a massive amount of information from his stint in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) but publishes information responsibly—not that it has stopped people from calling him a traitor.
Many have gone on to say that the existence of WikiLeaks has completely changed the sphere in which private citizens could publish and dominate the news and presentation of information. WikiLeaks garnered a lot of sympathizers in the first years of its existence.
An interesting point about it is that a majority of WikiLeaks critics like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are now showering praise on it for the “unbiased” view and publicizing of documents that included a lot of bad press about the Democrats and not just the conservatives.
Menace or Hero
The arguments continue to broil despite over ten years since WikiLeaks becoming public. As WikiLeaks does not really choose sides in the disbursement of information—you can kind of see where the concern of private corporations can come from.
What also remains consistent is the vast number of supporters that even pool together funds to keep the website running. WikiLeaks, as a non-profit entity, does not generate money for the writers, publishers, and web developers. All the lawyers and publicists who have worked for and with WikiLeaks have all offered their services pro bono.
Just how private are businesses and persons supposed to be? What consequences must be given to those who break contract and trust?