The Controversy Around Wikileaks: How Ethical the Organization Actually Is

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The questions and controversy regarding if Wikileaks is acting ethically or not is tricky to say. On one hand, WikiLeaks has provided news organisations with useful material for their reports, but the ethical dilemmas arising from publishing this material with—in many cases—unknown sources, remains a problem (Ottosen, 2012). WikiLeaks claims to be exposing widespread government corruption. However, without a doubt the leaks are irresponsible and unethical. Wikileaks aims to expose corruption and make corrupted officials accountable but does that good counteract the harm of violating the privacy of thousands of people. It doesn’t appear that WikiLeaks has taken this collateral damage into consideration. The early leaks by Wikileaks were distributed ethically. The Iraq War Logs: “heavily censored”, according to the BBC (Benkler, 2011, P. 3). The diplomatic cables: despite reports of otherwise, for the firstmonth, WikiLeaks only released a cable to its own site after that cable had been redacted and published by an affiliate. (Benkler, 2011, P. 15) WikiLeaks spoke the truth with care to do no harm, a difficult and commendable achievement. However, WikiLeaks has started acting unethically, in entirely unnecessary and preventable ways. A primary problem has been Assange’s unchallenged editorial control. He runs WikiLeaks in a “my way or not” manner that ignores the ethics of journalism and law.

At the same time since every person has rights to freedom and speech it is not anywhere breaking the law and wiki leaks or Assange has also got high support from the reporters and also the general public because via wiki leaks they get to know about news which they shall know or have authority to know being the citizen of that country. But, they need to be more considerate when disclosing data. Information is more powerful in the Digital Age than ever. Those who wield that power must do so with great care and responsibility. Whistle-blowing, is a time-honoured means for exposing the secret doings of the powerful. But the release of huge amounts of hacked data, with no apparent oversight or curation, does the opposite. Such leaks threaten our ability to dissent by destroying privacy and unleashing a glut of questionable information that functions, somewhat unexpectedly, as its own form of censorship, rather than as a way to illuminate the workings of the powerful. The people may find that WikiLeaks is more trustworthy than their government. WikiLeaks hasn’t maliciously released information with the intent to harm people. Rather, its released embarrassing, awkward documentation of government operatives’ arrogance and incompetence (Thomas Charging Hawk, 2019). These are secrets the government keeps for the sole purpose of saving face, which is a plain betrayal of the citizenry. Addressing incompetence is an obvious solution. Wikileaks is not wrong in their goal but their steps towards it is causing more harm then not. There will always be human error, and it could be that the government is being held to impossible standards. But, whether a piece of journalism serves the greater good is irrelevant – the right to publish it is sacrosanct.

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