Twitter is the carotid artery of Wikileaks

by Jillian Selzer

Election day is just over two weeks away and the final presidential debate is in the books. Both parties are scrambling to sway undecided voters, put down their opponents and build their reputation. Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange have made unabashed returns and have taken a seat at the political table for this election cycle.

While the authenticity of Wikileaks is widely questioned and even mocked, it’s hard to ignore the social influence the site has generated since its first foray into social media eight years ago. Whether or not you believe the allegations constantly leaked (pun intended) by the organization, it’s hard to ignore how quickly Assange and his cyber following have spread information via social media, particularly on Twitter, and in turn reestablished their reputation as the ultimate fly on the wall with no reservations.

In an internet world filled with gifs, memes and breaking news in 140 characters, the instant spread of information has become an asset to Wikileaks. Especially in the past weeks leading up to one of the most critical elections in our nation’s history, Wikileaks has used Twitter full force to spread its message. Below, they utilize an edited gif/meme hybrid to market the recent leak of the Podesta emails.

(Via Twitter courtesy of Wikileaks)

Here, the organization makes a clear Call to Action. As I looked through their Twitter feed, this is one of the most-engaged tweets with over 12 thousand retweets and 19 thousand likes.

(Via Twitter courtesy of Wikileaks)

The world is in a thriving social media age. As I see Wikileaks’ presence and clout grow on Twitter, it makes me question how strong the organization would be without an invaluable tool like Twitter. For news and information outlets, social media is the key to spreading information. Would the so-called “secrets” of our government be so available if we weren’t provided with link to (possibly doctored) emails? It’s my conclusion that the threats would still hold significant weight, but without the internet and social media, Wikileaks attempt and spreading information like wildfire would be null and void.

Feature image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism