Is WikiLeaks Being Run by 13-Year-Olds? Or Just Their Task Force Account?

The worst thing about all this is that I feel like I’m being forced to join a whole bunch of conservatives and people on Twitter blocked by the Block Bot to do this criticism, and it makes me feel dirty.

To sum up… a while back, as you may recall, WikiLeaks got in some trouble for doxxing people’s private lives. More recently (as of yesterday), WikiLeaks got angry because Obama’s administration decided to anonymously share some of the CIA’s report linking senior Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin, to the DNC email server hack.

You know, I remember a time when WikiLeaks was praised. Even those of us who always wanted Assange to face a court of law for the rape accusations leveled against him pretty much liked what WikiLeaks was doing. Maybe that’s because they became a thing during the Bush II Administration, and as a result, were leaking things that really hurt that administration. But it’s not like President Obama’s administration wasn’t hurt by leaking, both from WikiLeaks and from Edward Snowden. And I support all of that despite largely being a very big fan of President Obama (I cannot express in words how badly I’m going to miss him and the entire family; I have major issues with his foreign policy, but he was a great president, as far as I’m concerned).

But either I’ve been blind to what WikiLeaks really is up until now, or they just decided that now was the time to show their true colors… either that, or a 13-year-old is running their @WLTaskForce account…

So… apparently… WikiLeaks now has an interest in building “an online database with all ‘verified’ Twitter accounts and their family/job/financial/housing relationships.”

Oh I’m sorry… you thought I was kidding?


Picture of full tweets. Link to original tweets and such to follow…

Hilariously, they deleted that first tweet, but nothing deleted on the internet is truly deleted, thanks to the awesome Wayback Machine.

They didn’t try to get rid of that second tweet, though, so here it is:

So yeah… they basically want to doxx all the verified Twitter accounts. When called out on it, this is how they responded:

So they want to doxx all of Twitter’s verified accounts in order to “understand influence networks based on proximity graphs”. And in order to explain what they want to do, they used Wikipedia as an example:

But Wikipedia usually only uses information that is already public knowledge. For probably the majority of verified Twitter users, that information is not public knowledge, and should not be made so with their express consent. Really, WikiLeaks can only save this if they actually ask each verified Twitter user if they can have permission to use that information, and then only use the information they have permission to use. Otherwise it’s fucking doxxing; which, as we already know, they are not strangers to.

Following that up, they’ve started to threaten a bunch of people with a libel lawsuit for pointing out that Julian Assange has been accused of rape and has yet to actually be tried for it.

So here’s the thing…

First off, I’m not going to repeat myself for a third time about being a supporter of whistleblowers, and even being a supporter of WikiLeaks (oh wait… I just did repeat myself for a third time).

Second off, I’m actually willing to entertain the idea that WikiLeak’s motives with this thing they want to do with verified Twitter user’s are pure. However, it’s still doxxing, whether they want to admit it or not, and that’s not okay.

Third off, WikiLeaks doesn’t appear to know what “libel” means, so let me refresh their memories:

defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.

And since they probably don’t know what “defamation” is, here’s that definition:

the act of defaming; false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel; calumny

Libel(/defamation) only applies to false statements. It is a fact that Julian Assange was accused of rape. I haven’t seen anyone saying that he’s been found guilty; only that he’s been accused. Which is 100% true. So reporting that Julian Assange has been accused of rape is not libel. It just isn’t. Because it’s a fact. So WikiLeaks would have no case.

I want the old WikiLeaks back; the WikiLeaks we had under Bush II. Can they come back, please? Because this current WikiLeaks is making a fool out of itself…


  1. says

    That feeling you’re experiencing is the shock of discovering that, while your interests may have temporarily aligned with a sociopath’s, that doesn’t mean the sociopath shares your goals or agenda. Wikileaks is going to do what wikileaks (per Assange) does, for their own reasons -- which have more to do with attention-seeking, removal of control structures, and self-justification than anything else.

    They never were on your side; they never were on anyone’s side. Philosophically they’re closer to 4chan and Anonymous than liberalism/humanism.

  2. says

    I want the old WikiLeaks back; the WikiLeaks we had under Bush II. Can they come back, please?

    The Wikileaks that was under Bush II was the way it was because it was Bush’s enemy (since Bush represented the establishment, and control) Now Wikileaks has a new enemy.

    This is the problem you have when you mistake an enemy of your enemy for your friend. They’re not. They’re just an enemy of your enemy.

  3. says

    Here’s the thing, Marcus… I was fine with WikiLeaks while Obama was president, as well. My problem is not with who their enemy is. My problem is with them seemingly making themselves allies of Trump. I don’t necessarily begrudge them their crusade against Clinton. I don’t like her, either. It’s that they appear to be actively supporting Trump.

  4. says

    It’s that they appear to be actively supporting Trump.

    Think of them as a yuge troll-farm. They’re not really attached to any political agenda. They’re only “for” Trump because it’s causing trouble and getting them attention.

    You are trying to think of this in terms of loyalty or philosophy; they’re sociopaths, they’re not going to act in any manner that you’d find consistent unless that consistency is an accident.

  5. says

    Nope, it depends on the person. Actually, I would make a case that Manning was naive and may have been encouraged into doing something incredibly dangerous by some sociopaths (and was then turned in by another sociopath, Adrian Lamo)

    Snowden appears to be a very rational fellow with a particular political agenda of his own.

    Part of the problem with Wikileaks is that it’s a microphone for Assange, and a lot of people went and canonized Assange without looking at his background carefully. Or, at all. I’ve got a lot of travel coming up this week but I’ll see if I can do a posting about this stuff.

  6. says

    See… I guess… I very much appreciate both Manning and Snowden, because they leaked some shit we, I think, deserved to know. And that’s what whistleblowing is supposed to be about. The Baghdad Airstrike, the Guantanamo Bay files (which exposed the detainment of journalists, as well the extent of the Human Right’s violations the US was committing), and the NSA surveillance program documents were hugely important. This is stuff we, as US citizens, have the right to know. I want Manning released and pardoned, and I want Snowden pardoned, as well, so he can return to the US safely. Both should be aloud to live their lives safely.

    I see what you’re saying about Assange, though, and he really needs to face trial for those rape accusations. It should be with the promise that he won’t be tried for WikiLeaks, but if he’s guilty of rape, he needs to face the punishment, and if he’s innocent, he needs to prove that in court. I do hate that he was canonized, though…

    Looking forward to whatever you have to write up…

  7. sonofrojblake says

    they appear to be actively supporting Trump

    The proof of the pudding will come after January 20th, when supporting Trump stops being anti-Establishment. I expect them to pivot (again) to being anti-Trump, once he’s the dude in power.

  8. applehead says

    It may be that WL is driven primarily by the attention-mongering attitude of your common 4chan anon and that their allegiance swings around erratically as a result, but in a time where 17 intelligence services and counting link Trump to traitorous conduct with Putin, I think I should posit even less generous scenarios.

    How about Putin promising Assange a nice big get out of jail free card in form of amnesty and asylum (dacha included)? That would more than suffice to turn WL into another instrument in the growing list of the Kremlin’s anti-Western propaganda apparatus.

    Or maybe WL wasn’t subverted just recently. After all, RT made its name in the West by extensively, and accurately, covering Occupy. In the modern social media-mediated information war, what’s a better weapon than an outlet that you have established as a reputable, trustworthy source, yet is ultimately in your absolute control and can switch to full-on propaganda mode at a moment’s notice?

    What if WikiLeaks was a long con concocted by Moscow? I wouldn’t put it past Putin or one of his subordinates to possess the necessary vision.

  9. sonofrojblake says

    what’s a better weapon than an outlet that you have established as a reputable, trustworthy source, in contrast to all the mainstream media sources in the so-called “free” West

    FIFY. Another massive own-goal by “our” mainstream media.

    What if WikiLeaks was a long con concocted by Moscow?

    If it was, the fact it worked means we deserve it. Hanlon’s Razor applies though.

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