Freedom Of Expression

Improved Essays
Freedom of Expression or Freedom of Invasion?
From hieroglyphics, the printing press, to the computer, the concept of communication has been an integral part of society in order to express and spread ideas. With the vast advancements in technology and social media tools, communication has evolved into a far more immediate, efficient method for greater involvement in activities locally and globally. Clay Shirky, in “The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change,” outlines how to use these relatively new modes of interaction as a political force. He introduces the instrumental approach, where anti-censorship and “western” websites are the primary forces that are encouraged, and the environmental, where
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However, his inclusion of WikiLeaks in his list of websites that promote freedom of expression misrepresents his position. WikiLeaks is, according to their main website, “a multi-national organization and associated library.” In other words, it publicizes censored or restricted information for the public. Though the website is for the right cause to counteract corruption and spying, the methods to obtaining the information are often controversial as they are acquired through hacking personal social media tools. For example, Sarah Palin’s personal email was hacked and released on WikiLeaks before the 2008 election in September when she was running as John McCain’s vice president. The emails proved to be harmless with no incriminating evidence, but were still released. A similar incident is taking place again in this 2016 election with nominee Hillary Clinton, bringing the controversial and invasive nature of WikiLeaks back to light. A group of emails from the Democratic National Convention was released after an anonymous hacker gained unauthorized access. The problem lies in the hypocritical nature of the website that claims to be transparent, but is in truth veiled in secrecy on how the information was obtained. According to “Can We Trust Julian Assange and WikiLeaks,” a New York Times article, the information leaked was also shown to have personal information such as “[…] social security numbers and credit card data of private individuals, information that served no public interest.” This type of publication of private and personal information is the main reason why WikiLeaks cannot be considered a tool of freedom of expression. Though it does help bring to light certain aspects that the government, agencies, or other corporations may be keeping in secret out of corruption, there is often a reason why certain ideas

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