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Difference Between Wikileaks and Wikipedia

Wikileaks vs Wikipedia

The huge controversy over the site Wikileaks and the close proximity of its name to Wikipedia has led many to question what the connection between these two sites is. The short answer to the question is nothing. Wikileaks is in no way connected to Wikipedia or Wikimedia. Unlike Wikipedia, which is an online encyclopedia that is powered by users, Wikileaks is a site that is devoted to exposing information that would not otherwise be available to the general public. The aim of Wikileaks is to expose the evils of society, like corruption and crime, and to reveal the truth about what really happened in certain events.

The contents of Wikipedia are mostly factual and are already available in one way or another. These can range from basic scientific facts, historical events, popular culture, and many more. On the other hand, the contents of Wikileaks are mostly confidential documents and communications from governments and organizations that detail their less than admirable activities. Most notably, Wikileaks has released hundreds of thousands of documents regarding US management and activities in the wars in the Middle East. Some claim that this information can be detrimental to the lives of the troops that are deployed there.

Another point of difference between the two sites is the legality of their activities. Wikipedia’s operations conform to the laws and any material that is deemed to be copyrighted is immediately removed to avoid infringement. The nature of the files presented by Wikileaks means that its operation’s legality is quite questionable as they are not acquired by legal means. Because of this, Wikileaks has faced major scrutiny by law agencies in the US. Other companies have also refused to continue doing business with Wikileaks in the fears that they may be considered as accomplices to whatever Wikileaks is committing; the latest of which is the payment processor Paypal.

In terms of how the site interacts with users, there has also been some major change. Wikileaks started out as a user-editable Wiki just like Wikipedia. Due to the controversial topics and the desire of other people to take this information off the internet, Wikileaks has decided to return to a more conventional publishing style where the user submitted information goes to Wikileaks staff and they determine whether it is worth publishing the information or not.

Summary:

  1. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia while Wikileaks is a depository of leaked documents
  2. The contents of Wikipedia is public information while the contents of Wikileaks is classified information
  3. The operation of Wikipedia is perfectly legal while that of Wikileaks is questionable
  4. Wikipedia content is editable by users while Wikileaks content is not

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