Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why Wikileaks Sucks

I decided to visit the site Wikileaks a few days ago when I was experiencing a moment of boredom mixed with burnout from work. For those of you that currently live on Mars or outside the United States, Wikileaks is the site that released over 100,000 documents about the United States' war effort in Afghanistan (and probably got a few informants who worked for the U.S. killed in the process).

After cruising around their site for a while, I discovered a document that I knew to contain some erroneous information. Without going into details, let me just say that I am affiliated with the organization in question and saw after five seconds that, while the document was purporting to be an "official document" of the organization in question, it was nothing more than someone's opinion who belonged to the organization, and a poorly formed opinion at that.

So, after searching for and not finding the button to sign up for an account so that I could join the 100 or so people who had already commented on the discussion for the document in denouncing it, I joined their chat session to ask for an account. After all, if the name of the site is "Wikileaks", I'm imagining that it should be similar to Wikipedia and I should be able to edit the site, right? No. After a conversation with one of their garrulous -- but not too helpful -- chat monkies, I was told that they had stopped allowing people to sign up for new accounts and that this would continue for the foreseeable future. Here is a screen shot of the conversation.

My session with a Wikileaks chat monkey

So, basically, Wikileaks publishes anything that they find damaging to an organization while the larger internet is unable to challenge the accuracy of the documents. It seems sucky to me.

Here is the result of a Google search for "hot Wikileaks girl" -- that Russian spy who just got kicked out:

Hot Russian Spy Girl

So, do you agree that Wikileaks sucks or am I being too harsh?
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  1. You are a twit. Future past or present won't change that. Wikileaks releases have effectively changed two governments for revelations of corruption that wouldn't have been known without the document's release. The authenticity of the vast majority of their prior releases have been confirmed and the authenticity of the war logs have not been disputed by the US government and have exposed many war crimes that are now being investigated in at least two countries. The Iraq release showed that the US was lying to everyone about the counting of civilian deaths. When governments lie, people die. If WL releases decreases the likelihood of future lies then fewer will die and future twits will be able to freely be twits without paying for torture rape etc. along the way.

  2. Yes, when the government lies, people die (sometimes). When the government does nothing, people also die. Even if the government didn't exist, people would still die -- of old age if nothing else.

    See, it's easy to chant slogans. It's also easy to hate the U.S. because, as you say, they give everyone to be as big of a twit as they want in life. In the process of defending that freedom, sometimes people die. It's sad, and the U.S. tries to do more to prevent civilian casualties than most other governments would (though they're still not perfect). However, I still like the fact that we have a military out there protecting the country from external threats. I rather enjoy the piece of mind this brings me at night. I hope for that piece of mind for everyone in the world eventually. I think that, as American influence, culture, and ideology continue to expand worldwide, this hope will continue to become more of a reality.

  3. wikileaks is abunch of morons that should all rot in prison

    1. I agree, just look at their name; what a name

  4. Wikileaks has already saved many lives and hopefully more. The US has caused over 100,000 civilian deaths in Irag and Afghanistan.

  5. Whose lives have Wikileaks saved, again? Releasing documents doesn't save lives -- general public outcries against political policy AND the nature of such policies being changed do.

    While I don't doubt that some of the information Wikileaks are truthful and need to be accessible to the public, a fair amount seems like parlor gossip. "This person or this government doesn't like/trust this person or government." There should also be a heavy amount of accountability placed on any informant (which Wikileaks use), if they knowingly disclose false information, or refuse to retract previous claims. I think this is what will trip up Wikileaks eventually and take away from their overall credibility.

    However, I'm well aware that any criticism of Wikileaks ends up spiraling down to a e-horde of Assange groupies with their pitchforks and torches. Teabaggers aren't the only zealots around.

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