Featured Image for Julian Assange’s Reddit AMA was a disaster
Web

Julian Assange’s Reddit AMA was a disaster

Earlier this morning, Julian Assange thought it would be a good idea to conduct a Reddit AMA.

He was wrong.

The notorious Australian hacktivist has come under fire recently for what many saw as one-sided interferences in the recent US elections.

His site, Wikileaks, dumped troves of leaked information about the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton – which in and of itself isn’t particularly surprising or problematic given the website’s ethos.

But people took issue with Wikileaks’ lack of scrutiny on her opponent, Donald Trump.

Through the Trump University fiasco, sexual harassment allegations and alleged connection with the oppressive Russian Government, Wikileaks was noticeably silent.

So naturally, people were pretty excited when Assange said that he would be doing a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ to clear the air.

Unfortunately, all we were left with were more questions.

Assange asked Redditors to get their questions in early – this is common practice so the community can vote for the most popular questions which he’ll presumably answer.

This approach somewhat backfired though, with the most pointed and difficult questions being voted to the top of the heap.

Like this:

Why have you never released the leaks on the Russian government announced years ago?

Why did you attack the Panama papers when they showed dodgy money flowing into Russian coffers?

Do you bear any weight of conscience for the deaths of pro democracy activists in Belarus after your friend Israel Shamir gave Wikileaks documents to the Belarusian dictator?

And if you’ve built your reputation on a devotion to truth and transparency, there’s a pretty reasonable expectation that you’ll answer the questions frankly and honestly.

That didn’t happen.

Questions about his ties with the Kremlin, his cosiness with FOX News and Wikileaks’ ethics were either completely ignored or given vague, one-word answers:

/u/ whydoyouonlylie:

Hi Julian. Why did you, and Wikileaks, send a cryptic tweet about your internet being cut off by a state party? Why did you not just name Ecuador from the outset instead of triggering conspiracy theories?

/u/_JulianAssange:

Diplomacy.

You can check it all out over here, or the video stream here – but this comment from one user about sums it up:

/u/Velocity_Rob:

For someone who claims they’re all about transparency and openness, your answers here really don’t live up to those lofty ideals. Terse one word answers, ignoring really pertinent questions, what exactly is the point of this AMA?

About the author

Technically, Riordan writes culture, politics and sport, but 80% of his words are direct quotes stolen from The Simpsons. He promises to tweet more at @riordanl and speaks words for The Zero Thumbs Down Podcast.

Leave a comment