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[liberationtech] 2 WikiLeaks questions

Nathan Andrew Fain nathan at squimp.com
Thu Nov 12 10:00:34 PST 2015


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> theory that WikiLeaks would go under if it were not of the steady
> stream of celebrity endorsements

Oh man. The reasons for Wikileaks continued relevance go way deeper
than endorsements.

While I think the show of solidarity is welcomed, when it comes down
to weighing who benefits from it: the celebrates get so much more from
their endorsement than Assange or Wikileaks do. The philosophers,
popicons and individuals that set out to the Ecuadorian embassy do so
as a pilgrimage. Because for the stateless or less-stateful generation
the isolation of Assange, the exile of Snowden and imprisonment of
Manning have turned them into iconic symbols of a struggle.
Historically political exile has not removed the market of resistance
that they represented and more often only made it stronger (Trotsky
comes to mind). If/as this market grows it's quiet understandable that
those that are already a part of that market or that want to be a part
of that market, will want to be seen with its largest icons.


> 2. How could/should a liberation technology organization with more
> than two million followers tweet in order to improve the world?

I'm not sure Wikileaks is libertarian, but also I guess this isn't
important to your question. And I do not have an answer to contribute
to the question you asked. But would just say that you reminded me of
the issue the Pirate Party had when it came into parliament and had to
deal with broader issues. I don't know if the advantages from
broadening the issues the platform deals with is worth it. Luckily for
Wikileaks the data drives the focus. If you want them to deal with or
tweet about the Israel/Gaza/Palestine issue,
please send the data
and they will.


On 12/11/2015 17:37, Douglas Lucas wrote:
> Dear Libtech,
> 
> Curious for the community's thoughts on these two questions.
> 
> 1. It's not my theory, but what do you make of the theory that
> WikiLeaks would go under if it were not of the steady stream of
> celebrity endorsements (Lady Gaga, Pamela Anderson, many more)? Is
> hugely emphasized "soft power" a necessary component for a
> liberation technology cabal out to change the world? Or could, say,
> a cabal demonstrate more independence and still be supported by
> enough people who do not need their hands held to the conclusion by
> Lady Gaga?
> 
> 2. How could/should a liberation technology organization with more
> than two million followers tweet in order to improve the world?
> Could it give the public specific, actionable instructions for
> overthrowing governments and corporations? They might have to be
> less specific, so as not to qualify as threats that would get the
> account closed. But the account could massively amplify the
> instructions to the public given by victims such as Doctors Without
> Borders. Or it could organize boycotts of private spy firms such as
> Stratfor. What do you think? People who care about branding might
> argue that such tweets wouldn't fit WikiLeaks' brand, but things
> can be easily framed as freedom of the press/speech or 
> cryptography--e.g., something like Israel's attacks on Gaza: you
> can't publish accounts of injustice with Tor when bombed to death.
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Douglas
> 
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