Wikileaks has always been about the free distribution of information. In every interview and speech, the site’s founder Julian Assange speaks on how important freedom of speech and information is to a democracy. That may be the site’s mission, but Wikileaks is incredibly underfunded. They may have found a way to fix that problem.
If you went to check out the GIFiles on Wikileaks last night, you would be greeted by this:
The paywall coincides with a new GIFiles release containing over 200,000 emails from Stratfor regarding Obama, Romney and their respective parties. The emails could garner significant interest from US citizens as we head into the final stretch of the election.
All of this would be perfectly acceptable if it was just an ad asking for support. People are angry because Wikileak isn’t asking for support, they’re demanding it. The above image is a legitimate paywall that you can’t get behind unless you donate money. One of Wikileaks’ biggest allies wasn’t too happy with it.
Anonymous, or at least the guy who runs the @YourAnonNews Twitter feed, was livid last night in regards to the paywall.
This, dear friends will lose you all allies you still had. @Wikileaks, please die in a fire, kthxbai.
The sentiments expressed here were widespread throughout Twitter with many users angry that Wikileaks would force donations. It appears that the anger got through to the Wikileaks staff as they reportedly suspended the paywall. Some people, such as yours truly are still seeing it, but others are getting to the site with no problems.
In their defense, Wikileaks had this to say about the paywall:
A tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a “paywall”. You can read about our blockade and funding systems here: http://t.co/p9sNjWBK
UPDATE: The paywall appears to have been taken down. Users can now access the GIFiles normally without having to donate.