Wednesday, December 8

What Is WikiLeaks?

Ever notice how when you first hear of something new, it registers for the first time, and then suddenly you hear it over and over again? Like you can't believe that you've just recently heard about it.

That's just happened to me with WikiLeaks. Maybe I live under a rock, but I have to admit that I just recently heard about it, and then suddenly it's all I am hearing about! I generally try to stay on top of the latest and greatest, but this one passed me by!

The constant repetition on Twitter motivated me to do a little research. So just what is WikiLeaks? At first I thought it had something to do with Wikipedia and was some sort of a gossip rag online!! Couldn't have been farther from the truth.

I started my research by going to the website - wikileaks.org - but it was shut down. And it turns out that the Director (Julian Assange) was arrested yesterday. Why? Had to do a little more digging.

WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization whose stated mission is to locate and release sensitive documents that are otherwise not open for public distribution. A self-described media company that brings news to the people.

The website was created using a wiki format, making the content editable and shareable, hence the name WikiLeaks. The organization gained a lot of fame and notoriety with the release of documents surrounding the Iraq and Afganistan wars. In the early years of its life, some pretty prestigious awards were also given to the organization for its journalism.

As the controversy mounted over the last few years (and certainly last few months), and by the way the Facebook fan count grew as well, there was a lot of speculation about government surveillance around the world. I guess the more sensitive the topic, the more scrutiny from the government. Not sure all about that, but I've now know enough about WikiLeaks to make me content. At least enough to keep up with the Twitter feed!

It's certainly not what I thought it was -- it's not a social media site for gossip! It's a whole lot deeper and mysterious than I had imagined. Just don't know where I've been for the last few years!

The question is ... is it the future of journalism? Is the online world and technology changing how we get our "news" and the type of "news" we get -- well the answer to that part is yes, WikiLeaks or not.

If you want to learn more, there's a pretty detailed breakdown on Wikipedia (no relation!).

What's your experience? Jim.


1 comment:

  1. Wikileaks is Change Obama cannot imagine, but we need to have global leadership based on transparency.

    We NEED proper steering mechanism to survive the global society we created with technology. Transparency/involvement is needed. It's urgent, at this moment our society has an obsolete 200 years old steering mechanism. How can a few wise leaders understand these complex global issues pending ?

    Would we have gone to Iraq over Weapons of mass destruction is we were part of the diplomatic cable discussion ?
    Better of with more transparency ? Credit Crises / Cable gate shows governments are not so much in control of the global society. Wasn't it work of the press to tell us the truth ?

    Can the government be specific what is so threatening, because NO ONE DIED by the cables released. People did die because the same amount of money did go to Foreign Affair as to public health care.

    At least the cork out of the bottle. Fact is that secrets are harder to keep anno 2010. Shutting down is naive. Discuss it is the only option.. If democracy fails, the only solution is MORE democracy!. Fill the streets and discuss where the press fails.

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