Wikileaks Over Time

Prior to launching in 2006, Wikileaks sent an email to various organizations to inform them of their master plan. Partly experted here, it is clearly premised on techo-determinist reasoning: “ has developed and integrated technology to foment untracable, unstoppable mass document leaking and discussion… We aim for maximum political impact; this means our technology is fast and usable by non-technical people. We have received over a million documents of varying quality. .. We believe that the increasing familiarity with provides a comfortable transition to those who wish to leak documents and comment on leaked documents. ”

Wikileaks plan failed to materialize as envisioned and in this period journalists were far more likely to visit Wikipedia rather than Wikileaks, even if indeed the whistle-blowing organization was already hosting newsworthy leaks. By 2010, Wikileaks substantially overhauled its game plan. Even if the original idea behind Wikileaks had been to circumvent establishment and existing journalistic/media channels, eventually they partnered with them to release the diplomatic cables, and even deployed some of their methods in an attempt to secure lure eyeballs in an contemporary media environment characterized by extreme competition and fragmentation. Julian Assange stepped out of the shadows and into the limelight; the organization started to host press conferences and curated content as it did with the release of the video Collateral Murder. Editorial procedures and policies were changed. By 2011 it became more clear that while Wikileaks was a disruptive force, its relationship with the establishment press, even though still embattled and tense, was symbiotic.

In this project, turn to commentary about Wikileaks by academics and journalists and those published by Wikileaks/Assange to describe major turning points in its short history. Treating Wikileaks through the lens of a social experiment: how would you characterize its greatest successes and failures? Is it possible, in specific, to trace the changes in Julian Assange’s thinking concerning the practice and power of leaking? Are the major profiles written about Assange, linked to below, fair assessments based on your research?

Preliminary entry points: