Is information knowledge? Does more data mean greater understanding, even minus context and editorial filters?
This was a tweet from Barkha Dutt for her show We the People debating Will Wikileaks change Diplomacy forever?
The last bit of the question set me thinking. Does Wilkileaks require an editorial filter?
NO. Was my initial and intuitive response.
After a pause I thought, how different will editorial filter make Wikileaks look like? What will form the basis of filtering the information? Finally in the era of information sharing will it be possible to curtail the raw information going out to people?
In my opinion, which could be challenged, it’s alright at times to let the information flow out in raw form and let people make a judgement. For there is no guarantee that people will agree and toe the line editors dish out.
What Julian Assange has done is going to change the way people in power communicate, though it might not have an impact in the way diplomacy is conducted.
As Mukul Kesavan on the NDTV show pointed out that the New York Times went ahead and took the cables to the US government and after a check published them shows where not to go for reading the cables.
I agree, for the fact that one can’t be sure reading NYT in that case if that is the complete information.
A blog in the economist suggested WikiLeaks needs an ethical review board? It further observes WikiLeaks is an important organisation that’s doing something the world needs. But like other human-rights and humanitarian organisations, it needs to lay down some clear, public ethical guidelines about how and why it does what it does.
I trust the way they handle it, in part because I know who they are. Who’s WikiLeaks? Besides Mr Assange, I don’t know, and they’re not really telling. Do you know? If so, start a wiki about it.
Wonder how different this would have made the situation, agreed that nobody except Assange is known to the world, but what if that is the organisation policy?
Right now one persons motives are being doubted, if there were more than one then sceptics or critics would have questioned more motives.
This would also have given governments irked by leaks more people to make targets and drift the focus away from the actual issues at hand.
As of now there are five reputed media outlets apart from Wikileaks to make a choice from, it for the readers to pick their choice. There is raw data as well as filtered one available, make your choice and take a call.
In fact the readership of Wikileaks and others post disclosures will give an indication what people want.