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Posts Tagged ‘wikileaks’

New WikiLeaks Doc We Steal Secrets Examines the ‘Transparency Machine’

The saga of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning presents many questions for digital journalists. We Steal Secrets, a documentary directed by Alex Gibney and set for release  this May, deals with them all. You can watch a trailer here.

You should see the film — even if you think you’ve already heard all you need to know about Wikileaks, even if you’ve already made up your mind. It not only covers the creation of Wikileaks, the fall of Julian Assange as a hacker-god, but includes new interviews with Michael Hayden, former CIA director, and the woman who accused Assange of rape, among many other inside players. However, the most compelling part of the documentary is that it finally puts Bradley Manning in center stage and presents new questions about digital security, sources, and how we protect them.

I used to champion WikiLeaks, and I cringe to admit it, its founder. In a far off graduate school classroom, I even considered the idea that it was a sort of ‘journalistic’ enterprise. But now that Manning has been serving time as an enemy of the state and his trial approaches, I’m finding it hard to focus on anything but him, and the responsibilities publishers assume online, with information and with their sources. Read more

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3 News Trends Absent from Twitter and Facebook’s 2010 Lists

As 2010 draws to a close, Twitter and Facebook have looked back on the year’s most discussed topics.

Among the top 10 trends on both lists were World Cup, Haiti, iPad and Justin Bieber.

These top trends do not come as a surprise. Remember when Bieber was a perpetually trending topic on Twitter until Twitter changed their algorithm?

But the lack of many other news events on both lists were surprising. Since this is a blog about journalism and technology, here are three notable trends that are absent from both lists.

  • The 2010 midterm elections. These are global trends, so the absence of such a U.S.-centric topic is understandable.
  • The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The Olympics happened way back in February, but it’s clear the World Cup was the global sporting event of choice for social media users this year. In addition to “FIFA World Cup,” Vuvuzela also made Twitter’s top list.
  • Wikileaks. Both “Wikileaks Cablegate” and “Julian Assange” made Twitter’s top news events and people list, respectively. However, they were not part of Twitter’s overall list, or Facebook’s list. Given the international scope of the story, this was surprising. Perhaps the fact this story broke late in the year had something to do with why Wikileaks was not included on either Twitter of Facebook’s main list.

Here’s something to keep in mind when interpreting these trends, especially on Twitter: a study out last week from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that only 8 percent of online Americans use Twitter.

What other news trends missed Twitter and Facebook’s lists? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

UPDATE: Our sister blog WebNewser has more on Facebook’s trend list.