WikiLeaks has been into financial troubles since ever. The whistle-blowing website naturally didn’t sit well with the authorities around the globe who have taken all possible measures to block any kind of financial aid from reaching it. Now, it has launched a kind of ‘paywall’ to persuade the visitors to make donations before they can access its leaked material.
‘Paywall’ is a concept of asking users to pay a certain amount for accessing the material on a website.Although, what WikiLeaks introduced yesterday wasn’t exactly a Paywall, it was quite close to that.
For example, when you try to access the emails that were leaked from security firm Stratfor’s servers, you will be pitched with a pop-up message which says ‘In this election, vote with your wallet: Vote for WikiLeaks’ and then it asks you to make a donation or buy any of its promotional products.
Interestingly, the hacktivist group Anonymous was very harsh in criticizing this move by WikiLeaks and lambasted the website for ‘moneywhoring.’ Official accounts of Anonymous posted tweets like “WE DO NOT MAKE ANY MONEY WITH LEAKS. WE DESPISE ANYONE WHO DOES. over and out” and “How totally fucking arrogant. You know what, taking it down isn’t enough. You remove it and apologize or fucking EXPECT US.”
The anger of Anonymous members was rather justified because it was Anonymous who hacked into Stratfor servers and laid its hands on the emails which it then passed on to WikiLeaks. According to the hacktivist group, it didn’t make any money off the material and neither should the folks at WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks, on the other hand, has responded by saying that “A tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a ‘paywall’.” As of right now, the pop-up message is only appearing on some pages and has been removed altogether from the other.