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Founding Member Explains the "Wiki" in Wikileaks

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, June 3 2011

A recent Berlin interview with little-heard-from Wikileaks founding member Daniel Mathews offers an answer to one of the questions still surrounding the evolution of the project: What ever happened to the wiki part, as in the collaborative, community-edited aspect to the endeavor?

Mathews, who describes himself as a former mathematics classmate of Julian Assange who left the project in 2008, says that the participatory processing of leaked documents just never really took off.

Mathews says that, at launch of the site in 2006, he saw the parsing of and reporting on the acquired documents as a core part of what Wikileaks was all about, but that it became clear to the Wikileaks creators that there wasn't the necessary online appetite for that work. "In the end, the wiki aspect of Wikileaks died out. It did not attract the community that we thought it might," says Mathews in the interview.

"And so Wikileaks has since then taken something of a different approach -- more direct collaboration with the mainstream media," says Mathews. At the moment, there's no true wiki component left on Wikileaks.org.

If you're up for watching the video, be warned that the questions are in German, though the gist is easy enough to make out.