Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales criticised Wikileaks during a conference today, reports AFP. Wales was quoted as saying that he would distance himself from Wikileaks, wishing the whistleblower website would not use the W-word in its name. Wales claimed using the W-word made the site famous in the first place, certainly not the content, tut tut.
Wales went on to say leaks like the Afghan War Diaries must be handled responsibly, which did happen as journalists working for The Guardian, Der Spiegel and The New York Times disseminating them to a certain extent.
He went on to say: “I think it is really important when we have sensitive information, that we do rely on responsible journalists to sort through it for us… it’s much better than dumping all kinds of crazy information online and get people killed,” thereby criticising Wikileaks for its plan to release an additional 15.000 related documents.
Wales stated he thought not redacting the further documents might be enough to get good-hearted people killed, saying Julian Assange was irresponsible about releasing everything.
However, Assange has asked for cooperation from the White House and has not yet simply dumped the entire affair into its War Diaries database.
Nonetheless, it remains to be seen how long Wikileaks will need to sift through the rest, as the organisation is seemingly falling into disrepair and is prone to a bonfire of vanities engulfing its leadership, as an interview at Der Spiegel with former German Wikileaks speaker Daniel Schmitt recently showed.
Schmitt stated Wikileaks was having large problems coping with the growth of the organisation, leading to internal mishaps and technical problems. In addition, Julian Assange stopped Wikileaks from disseminating and publishing important leaks on a local and a national level, in favour of international affairs.
Schmitt’s criticism was rebuked by Assange, who said Schmitt wasn’t loyal any more and suspended him four weeks ago in fears Schmitt was trying to rob him of his throne.
According to Schmitt, dissent inside of Wikileaks is growing – if personal animosities and agendas abound, the organisation may become its own victim, without any outside dealings.