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WikiLeaks Tests Donation Pop-Ups For Leaked Material 67

Posted by timothy
from the warning-do-not-approach-trial-balloon dept.
WikiLeaks has for years relied on donated time and money to publish the scoops that it has; now, concealment writes "As of Wednesday night, the secret-spilling site now shows a 'paywall' to any visitor who clicks on one of its leaked documents, including the 13,374 emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that it published earlier in the day along with the teaser that the messages regarded presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The pop-up message that blocks access to the site's content shows a video parodying Barack Obama's stump speeches and asking visitors to instead 'vote for WikiLeaks' by making a donation to the site or buying its promotional gear like tote bags and hoodies."
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WikiLeaks Tests Donation Pop-Ups For Leaked Material

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    May be fixed thusly, if one is not partial to paywalls:

    http://cryto.net/wikileaks.html

  • by jerpyro (926071) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:03AM (#41619489)

    I have to wonder who at Wikileaks thought that this would be a good idea.

    I suspect that the reason they're not getting as many donations as they used to is because if wikileaks got labeled an enemy of the state then people who had donated would be targets. Putting up a paywall isn't going to motivate people to take that risk.

    Part of the point of wikileaks is to get maximum exposure for the information, and adding a barrier to entry is going to go against their cause.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I have to wonder who at Wikileaks thought that this would be a good idea.

      Who rated this interesting? Did they miss the button for "sack of lying shit"?

      Funny how only three people seem to have checked and noticed there is no paywall - not even in Google's cache.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Maybe the rest posted before it was taken down. The whole wikileaks/Assange campaign, including the feigned anger from the authorities, is starting to look suspiciously like a honeypot to pull people away from the more credible cryptome.org and similar sites.

        I'm posting anonymously to avoid needless burning of karma for telling the uncomfortable truth about this bullshit.

      • by jerpyro (926071) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:15PM (#41620173)

        I would say that "Sack of lying shit" is a little overboard. Great job being melodramatic.
        I read TFA, posted a reaction, and whether the paywall has been removed had no bearing on my posting, merely that a paywall existed at all.

        So calm down, don't jump to conclusions, and stick to a productive discussion rather than being an armchair quarterback.

        • I would say that "Sack of lying shit" is a little overboard.

          How about "wrong and recalcitrant" "dissembler", "loose with the truth", "teller of tall tales", "fantasist". You've got the wrong end of offended.

          and whether the paywall has been removed had no bearing on my posting, merely that a paywall existed at all.

          No paywall - ever. Weasel much (apologies to the furry kind).

          don't jump to conclusions

          The assertion of a paywall was made - I tested it and found it untrue. I checked that it had never been true.
          Eat your own dog food

          and stick to a productive discussion

          Deliberately distorting the truth is what you call "constructive"? What sort of "thing" are you constructing?
          paywall [google.com]
          Would you like me to spoon feed you and show you how Goo

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Who rated this interesting? Did they miss the button for "sack of lying shit"?

        Who rated this informative? Did they miss the button for "knee jerk stupidity"?

        It was there. You can still see it here [wikileaks.org].

        Just because they took it down isn't a good reason to call people a "sack of lying shit". Actually, there's no good reason to do that. Why not treat people fairly? How did it feel when I responded to you the same way? I've noticed that most name calling jerks don't take that very well.

      • by pscottdv (676889) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:54PM (#41620539)

        I clicked this link [wikileaks.org] on the front page of wikileaks.org and was immediately confronted with a paywall that matched the description in the article. That's great if you don't see a paywall where you are from, but that doesn't make those that do see it a "sack of lying shit".

      • by Raenex (947668)

        Funny how only three people seem to have checked and noticed there is no paywall - not even in Google's cache.

        I just checked and noticed there is no paywall... while running NoScript. When I used a browser with JavaScript enabled, I saw the paywall popup.

        • Funny how only three people seem to have checked and noticed there is no paywall - not even in Google's cache.

          I just checked and noticed there is no paywall... while running NoScript. When I used a browser with JavaScript enabled, I saw the paywall popup.

          A paywall is when you can't proceed beyond it without paying. There is no paywall. Never was a paywall. Period.

          • by Raenex (947668)

            There is/was a paywall, but it is/was very leaky. They could have made it a nagwall by saying "Click here to proceed without paying", but they didn't do that. An uninformed user going to the site would have assumed they had to pay to proceed.

            Also, when you called the poster a "sack of lying shit", you said "three people seem to have checked and noticed there is no paywall - not even in Google's cache", but made no argument about semantics. Now you're moving the goalposts after having been wrong about the ex

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      The reason they don't get donations is that their accounts were frozen.

    • by guises (2423402)

      I have to wonder who at Wikileaks thought that this would be a good idea.

      I don't see why this would confuse you, most newspapers are doing this nowadays. It's great when the news is free, and it would be wonderful if Wikileaks could fund itself through donations like they used to, but with the blockade set up by the payment processors they're in terrible need of money and, given that this is the approach that every other news organization is taking, this seems like the obvious route for them.

      Your statement about fear of persecution is also valid, for sure, but without the bank

  • Does anybody else think this is a STUPID idea???

  • As always, the usual problem, always changing. After donating, we get on the USA shit list for the rest of our lives, spend quality time with the TSA at airports with laptop copying and/or confiscation, and mysterious entities investigating our friends. Employers and schools secretly inquiring about our backgrounds see security flags. Intimidation doesn't require actual actions against us. The threat alone is what causes donations and support to dry up.

  • Assuming they really need the cash, and aren't just trolling for Tweets, a Wikipedia-style "Personal Appeal" would have done more wonders. Assange looks cuter than Wales.

  • by J'raxis (248192)

    So whose idea was this at WikiLeaks, and which government agency was paying them to sow this kind of discord, eh?

  • Blockable (Score:5, Informative)

    by Meneth (872868) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:55AM (#41620007)

    AdBlock Plus can block the popups using these filters:

    wikileaks.org###boost

    wikileaks.org###entry

  • by concealment (2447304) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:18PM (#41620195) Homepage Journal

    There seems to be a lot of this going around.

    Pirate Party Leader Fights Illegal Downloads of Her Book [outsidethebeltway.com]

    The fact is that life costs money, and we all want to do what we love as day jobs, because there isn't enough time to fully do anything else. Thus writers, musicians, artists, software writers, etc. need to get paid.

    I think the idea of "information wants to be free" applies to information, not information products. The knowledge about how to play a guitar, or write code for a specific operating system, should not be kept away from those who can use it. That doesn't mean they should be entitled to free downloads of all software, music, books, etc.

    • by RobinH (124750)
      That wasn't really a fair article. If you read it carefully, it was her publisher that went after the people sharing the book on the internet, not her. Why should she care anyway, she's presumably already been paid by the publisher, probably gets very little "per book sold", and the free publicity is worth more to her than the royalties. For all we know, it could have been her sharing copies for free.
      • In many publishing contracts, the author gets up front money that is a deposit against royalties. If the book doesn't sell enough copies, the author must return some of the money.

  • While portions of the paywall video such as the false dichotomy of left/right make sense, I do not believe that voting with a wallet is "the only thing that matters".
    This version [youtube.com] seems a preferable form of advertisement. And it's not blocking any files.
  • Not quite a paywall (Score:5, Informative)

    by arielCo (995647) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:50PM (#41620509)

    More like "nag screen":

    Update: WikiLeaks has confirmed that the pop-up is intentional, but pointed out via Twitter that visitors can skirt the paywall by sharing a link to the donation pop-up instead of paying, or simply waiting several minutes, as I found.

    Of course, this is anathema to the "I want it for FREE and I want it NOW" crowd. My guess is that anyone with the patience to actually read through the Stratfor reports doesn't mind waiting several minutes.

  • That's forward thinking. I did because there's a fair bit on there concerning English Family Law.

  • Here's a direct link to the video on Youtube [youtube.com].
  • Are there any lawyers who can comment on whether offering money might constitute inducement to criminal behavior? It seems like that might implicate in WikiLeaks in criminal behavior when simply taking receipt of sensitive information does not.

    • by wilson_c (322811)

      Nevermind. I completely misread the story. My question isn't at all relevant. Next time I'll RTFA closely.

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