Monday, September 10, 2007

When PR Flacks Get Nervous

Never let it be said there is nothing new in the universe. Wikileaks is a website you probably haven't heard about. According to its stated purpose

Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact. Our interface is identical to Wikipedia and usable by all types of people. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources.
Jim Horton of Robert Marston & Associates writing in Online Public Relations Thoughts says
I wasn't aware of this site but it is more for PR practitioners to worry about. It is a wiki for people to spill secrets about governments, companies and individuals. Its statement of purpose is chilling. . . . The site has been successful already in revealing the misbehavior of an African leader. If it endures, it is a matter of time before whistle-blowers use it elsewhere. I suppose one can look at it as a full-employment reason for crisis PR practitioners.
Yep Jim, you PR guys are going to have a lot more work to do keeping people ignorant of your clients' skulduggery.

Another insanely useful website for the citizen journalist to add to his information toolbox.