Talk:Julian Assange

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Incorrect word usage[edit]

He had been questioned there months earlier over allegations of sexual assault and rape.[7]

Should this say "three" instead of "there"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tincanblower (talkcontribs) 13:22, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

No. "There" refers to Sweden in this sentence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:44, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Point of order lazy journalists routinely mistranslate Assange's sex charges as rape, or sexual assault. In fact his accusers said he misled them, not assaulted them. In Sweden if you have otherwise consensual sex with someone, where they thought you were monogamous, but you actually had multiple partners, you can be charged with a sex crime. Swedish reasoning is that your partner only agreed to monogamous sex, so you lacked their consent to non-monogamous sex.

    There were two Swedish women who met, compared notes about their lives and love-lives, and realized they both thought they were Assange's sole monogamous partner.

    In most parts of the world this would make Assange a cad, but he wouldn't face charges.

    Even if some lazy journalists report he faces allegations of rape nothing stops us from neutrally saying he faced sex crime charges, without using wording that implied violence. Geo Swan (talk) 16:46, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

This is blatantly untrue, and a fabulation. There is nothing in the Swedish law about monomgamous sex. He is charged with rape, because he had sex with a woman without a functional condom when only sex with a condom had been consented to, and had sex with the same woman while she was sleeping, and hence unable to give consent.
The British High Court said: "On this approach, then intentional penetration achieved by coercion or where consent is lacking to the knowledge of the defendant would be considered to be rape. In our view on this basis, what was described in the European Arrest Warrant was rape." Creuzbourg (talk) 19:30, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Afghanistan war logs[edit]

They were originally called Afghanistan War Diaries.

Proposal to include Julian Assanges theory of economic induced censorship[edit]

Include Julian's contributions to censorship theory specifically, the censorship pyramid, is a worth entry. It is one of the pillars of his philosophy and understanding of censorship. It deserves at least a mention, one sentence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Julientremblaymclellan (talkcontribs)

Could you supply a citation for this? Richard-of-Earth (talk) 08:15, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Sure, page 123 Cypherpunks which references the first conceptualization of the concept. this article is also referenced by Assange in his book When Google Met Wikileaks page 70, citation 133, references, but provides an archive. The article from is the illustration of the concept as described by Assange. Also referenced in (search for pyramid to get relevant passage)

On a different matter, do you get notifications when someone responds to a talk comment? I was informed of the reply, and has to check in manually. Julientremblaymclellan (talk) 04:36, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

@Julientremblaymclellan: No I did not get notified directly. I do watch this page, so I saw there was a change and saw that it was your reply. As for Assange's theory, I guess what is needed is some academic in the field of censorship saying his work advanced the field. Otherwise it is basically just an idea he had that gets passing mention in non-academic works. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 05:50, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

Okay thank you @Richard-of-Earth: I will look into Academic sourcing. Let me get back to you in a couple of days, while I look into it. - — Preceding unsigned comment added by Julientremblaymclellan (talkcontribs)


Ecuador not only granted asylum to Assange but in december 2017 also their citizenship, so Assange also has Ecuadorian nationality now.[1]--Bancki (talk)

Ecuador suspended Assange's citizenship on 10 April 2019, according to Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia. See this Reuter's article. Regards, AzureCitizen (talk) 13:52, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Interesting, I think both should be mentioned in the article itself.----Bancki (talk) 13:04, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Bail issue[edit]

There is an issue of weight here. The bail issue is hardly mentioned. More space is devoted to conspiracy theories like the one about John Jones. It is mentioned far less than the asylum issue. However, both existed simultaneously. Ecuadorian law did not trump British law. On the contrary, in a sense, it turned out the other way round, as Assange's asylum has been revoked and he is serving 50 weeks in prison. Editors seem to have assume that the breach of bail was a small issue that would just go away. This obviously wasn't true. The article should be edited accordingly. For example, "Political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy" should become "Breaching bail and political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:26, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

In fact, things seem to be jumbled. Under "Indictment in the United States", the article says: "On 11 April 2019, the day of Assange's arrest in London, the indictment against him was unsealed. Judge Michael Snow said Assange was "a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest" and he had "not come close to establishing reasonable excuse". He was charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion ..." Judge Snow's comments about an excuse related to skipping bail. However, in context there is nothing to tell the reader that, and I'm not sure the writers knew that either. The context, on the contrary, suggests that Judge Snow was referring to hacking. In fact, as far as Judge Snow was concerned, the US indictment was irrelevant.--Jack Upland (talk) 06:38, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Still Belmarsh?[edit]

I don't see a mention in the source given that Assange is still being held at Belmarsh. He was taken to the court from Belmarsh according to the source, but I don't know if this means that he is still incarcerated there. Totorotroll (talk) 20:35, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

Lede: "accused the Clinton campaign of stoking "a neo-McCarthy hysteria""[edit]

The bolded part of this paragraph should be removed:

  • During the 2016 U.S. Democratic Party presidential primaries, WikiLeaks hosted emails sent or received by candidate Hillary Clinton from her private email server when she was Secretary of State.[18] The U.S. Intelligence Community, as well as a Special Counsel investigation, concluded that the Russian government carried out a hacking campaign as part of broader efforts of interference in the 2016 United States elections.[19] In 2018, twelve Russian intelligence officers, mostly affiliated with the GRU, were indicted on criminal charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller; the indictment charges the Russians with carrying out the computer hacking and working with WikiLeaks and other organisations to spread the stolen documents.[20] Assange consistently denied any connection to or co-operation with Russia in relation to the leaks, and accused the Clinton campaign of stoking "a neo-McCarthy hysteria".[21][22][23]

First, it's needlessly long (the sentence already notes that Assange rejects connection to Russia). There's no added value of including Assange's specific attacks on various groups and individuals. Second, given that both the US intel community and later the Special Counsel investigation (which indicted GRU officers in 2018) have described connections between WikiLeaks and Russia (while there is no mention of the Clinton campaign saying anything of the sort in the lede), it's a bit weird to include Assange's attacks on the Clinton campaign. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 18:59, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

There's no added value of including Assange's specific attacks on various groups and individuals. Why? The quote was widely reported ([2] [3] [4] [5]), and it explains his reaction to the accusations. In an article about Assange, Assange's views are notable, and suggesting that Assange's views are incorrect (as you seem to do by referencing the Mueller investigation) doesn't make his views less notable. -Thucydides411 (talk) 20:44, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
His denial is already covered. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 20:51, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
What do you mean? -Thucydides411 (talk) 21:05, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
"Assange consistently denied any connection to or co-operation with Russia in relation to the leaks" Snooganssnoogans (talk) 21:09, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
That doesn't address my point. Why is Assange's view that the Clinton campaign was stoking "a neo-McCarthy hysteria" by claiming a connection to Russia not notable? That was part of his response to the accusation of a Russian connection, and it was widely reported. -Thucydides411 (talk) 21:27, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Indeed Assange's opinion of Clinton is very relevant to understanding his mindset when releasing the DNC information. Plenty of sources have reported this. — JFG talk 00:35, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
In the lead? Are we purposely trying to embarrass him? O3000 (talk) 00:37, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
We're just trying to reflect Assange's views. The accusations against him relating to the 2016 elections are explained in great detail in the lede, so his response should be included. If there's anything that should be trimmed, it's the detailed explanation of the accusations. The accusations should be summarizable in one sentence, rather than the 2.5 sentences they currently get. -Thucydides411 (talk) 01:39, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't think the "Clinton campaign" is particularly noteworthy.--Jack Upland (talk) 02:18, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
If the lede is going to discuss the accusations against Assange related to the Clinton campaign, which it does, then his response, which includes this statement about the Clinton campaign, should be included as well. -Thucydides411 (talk) 19:49, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
If his response was a defense, I'd agree with you. This isn't a defense -- it's a rather odd insult. OK for the body. O3000 (talk) 19:54, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────── Of course it's his defense. He thinks that the entire accusation was brought up in order to stoke "a neo-McCarthy hysteria." That's his response to the accusation. You may view that as an "insult," but that's not what it is. It's his view of what Hillary Clinton's objective was in pushing these accusations. This is an article about Julian Assange, and we can't censor his own views out of the lede, just because you don't agree with them or find them odd. -Thucydides411 (talk) 20:56, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Yes, this is an article about Julian Assange, and I think the whole paragraph is a long and intricate distraction. It also violates the principle that the lead should reflect the body. The second and third sentences are about Russian hacking, and don't mention Assange. The bolded passage is confusing because it implies the Clinton campaign was making the allegations, whereas we have just said it is the US intelligence community and Mueller. This paragraph might not be needed at all, given the new indictments against Assange.--Jack Upland (talk) 21:33, 23 May 2019 (UTC)


I suggest a move to a more chronological structure. Currently, we have:

  • "Wikileaks": 2006-2017
  • "U.S. investigations: 2010-2019
  • "Indictment in the United States": 2012-2019, includes arrest in April
  • "Swedish sexual assault allegations": 2010-2019, refers to arrest in April
  • "Political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy": 2012-2019, includes arrest in April under "Presidency of Lenín Moreno" (why have a separate subsection for Moreno?)
  • "Withdrawal of asylum, arrest and conviction" (a subsection of above), includes arrest in April again
  • "2016 U.S. presidential election", which is placed after the above.

I don't think a strict chronological order would be feasible, but a structure that was more chronological would be better. There are at least three different accounts of his arrest. This is unnecessary and confusing. I think it would be difficult for someone who knew nothing about Assange to make sense of this jumble.--Jack Upland (talk) 06:56, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

I have started to work on fixing this.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:33, 14 May 2019 (UTC)


This article seems to have a pro-Assange POV. He is portrayed as a journalist hero standing up to the American Empire, and anything else is swept under the carpet. As noted before, the fact that he skipped bail is minimised. In fact, there is the erroneous suggestion that he was arrested on hacking charges. The Swedish allegations are given only three paragraphs. Yes, there is a main article for them, but there is also a main article for the US indictment, and that section includes not less than 10 paragraphs about Assange's supporters. There is similar material scattered through the article, including a trivial aside about Pamela Anderson's tussle with Australia's latest PM. Then, there is space given to conspiracy theories about Seth Rich, John Jones, and Hillary Clinton. Reality doesn't seem to matter much.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:23, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Please do not post comments about the article itself here. If you want to suggest an edit, feel free to do that here, but there are: discussion pages for comments.
Muffington (talk) 08:35, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
What are you talking about?--Jack Upland (talk) 08:47, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with your characterization of the article.

  • "As noted before, the fact that he skipped bail is minimised". The lede covers the fact that he skipped bail: Having been unsuccessful in his challenge to the extradition proceedings, he breached his £340,000 bail[13] in June 2012 to seek asylum from Ecuador.
  • "In fact, there is the erroneous suggestion that he was arrested on hacking charges.". Assange was, in fact, arrested on hacking charges (among others): [6]. He was first arrested for breaching bail, and then formally arrested again for extradition to the US on hacking charges. This is, suprisingly, not mentioned in the lede.
  • "The Swedish allegations are given only three paragraphs." There is one paragraph in the lede that is largely about the about the Swedish charges, and another three paragraphs in the body of the article. The charges, the investigation, the extradition hearings and Assange's asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy are outlined. I don't know what more you expect here: a detailed analysis of the he-said-she-said surrounding the case?
  • "There is similar material scattered through the article, including a trivial aside about Pamela Anderson's tussle with Australia's latest PM." The details about Pamela Anderson's confrontation with the Australian PM can be condensed into one sentence. In general, though, there has been a lot of support for Assange by high-profile individuals and organizations, and this shouldn't be censored from the article.
  • "Then, there is space given to conspiracy theories about Seth Rich, John Jones, and Hillary Clinton." That points to anti-Assange POV in the article, not pro-Assange POV. I agree that there's too much discussion of Seth Rich and Russiagate in the article.

The article, as a whole, does have balance issues, covering some topics in too much detail and others in too little detail. There should be much more space devoted to the actual information that WikiLeaks revealed, for example. But I don't see the pro-Assange POV you claim. -Thucydides411 (talk) 19:47, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

  • The lead covers the fact that he skipped bail, but it is minimised in the body of the article.
  • It is clearly erroneous to suggest that Judge Snow's comments were related to hacking charges (see before). I see no evidence Assange was arrested twice. The article you link to doesn't even mention breaching bail. It suggests Assange was arrested in the embassy on US charges. This is false, so this problem is at least partly due to a confusion in (American) sources.
  • Again, the lead covers the Swedish allegations, but they are minimised in the body. The section is one of the smallest in the article, and doesn't explain what the allegations are. This is inappropriate because they form an important part of the events of recent years. The article seems happy to record what "she said" when she is Pamela Anderson.
  • I'm not suggesting any censorship of information about Assange's supporters. I'm just saying it could be condensed. Perhaps, there could just be a list, e.g., Assange was supported by Pamela Anderson etc.
  • Perhaps there is a pro-American bias. Certainly there is a bias away from the Swedish charges and the bail issue, and towards issues related to US politics and the US sealed indictment.
  • It is probably hard to establish a POV in a large article edited by many editors over a long time. However, Assange and his supporters assert that his legal problems are about the US indictment and minimise the Swedish allegations and the bail issue. So does this article, and in that way has a strong pro-Assange bias. It seems we agree that there are balance issues.--Jack Upland (talk) 01:00, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
@Jack Upland: There is an article devoted to the Assange v Sweden case which is linked at the top of the section. Were you suggesting copying information over from that section? I don't have a problem with that other than it seems unnecessary. Regarding the bail case, is there anything else that can be said - Assange breached a bail order, he was found guilty and sentenced. We have included his reasons for the breach and some responses to the sentencing. If there is anything else that you think is suitable add it in.Burrobert (talk) 14:26, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
If you read my comments, you will see I have already mentioned the Assange v Sweden article. As I pointed out, this is an inconsistent argument because there is an article on the Indictment and arrest of Julian Assange, but that doesn't mean there aren't many, many paragraphs covering the same topic here. This page should at least explain what Assange was accused of doing. There is more that could be said about bail. The fact that his supporters like Jemima Goldsmith tried and failed to get their money back. But my point is there is a lack of recognition the bail issue. Assange is portrayed as seeking asylum, but he was also breaching bail, and this should be acknowledged. The bail issue is dealt with in a diffuse and confusing way. There is a serious confusion in the article about Assange's arrest, as I have pointed out.--Jack Upland (talk) 20:59, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
There is no point discussing generalities here. I think that may have been what Muffington was referring to earlier. Why don't you make any changes that you consider appropriate. If other editors disagree with you they will let you know and then we can discuss specifics on the talk page.Burrobert (talk) 02:02, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Where are the "discussion pages"??? I don't want to spend hours editing a page only to find someone has reverted it without reading what I had written. I will make some minor changes and see how it goes.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:56, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Chelsea Manning[edit]

This article refers to "Chelsea Manning" in relation to events that occurred while Manning was using the name Bradley. This is an attempt to reinvent history, and is inconsistent with the approach taken at Gdańsk, where the name Danzig is used in relation to events that occurred while it was known by that name. It would be better to write "Bradley Manning (now called Chelsea Manning)" where first mentioned, and thereafter simply "Bradley Manning" or "Chelsea Manning" as applicable depending on the name which Manning was using at the time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Tough question. Reminds me of the endless debates about The Wachowskis at Talk:The Matrix. MOS:GENDERID states, under "Referring to the person in other articles", Use context to determine which name or names to provide on a case-by-case basis. Generally, do not go into detail over changes in name or gender presentation unless they are relevant to the passage in which the person is mentioned. That guideline is clear as mud if you ask me, but I would interpret "use context" as leaning towards using Bradley for events from 2010, and Chelsea for more recent references. — JFG talk 13:35, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
"Reinventing history" is a bit of a hyperbolic way to describe the name change: anybody can click on the wikilink and read the Chelsea Manning article for all the details they desire. If many editors wanted clarification we could theoretically add write "Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning" at her first mention in the main text, but I don't really think this is necessary. -Darouet (talk) 23:55, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

[Same person as above - IP address may differ.] Thank you JFG. Yes I agree it is not terribly clear but nonetheless I believe that it tends to support my suggestion. My suggested "now known as Chelsea Manning" is the minimum detail that would be required in order to clarify that later references to Chelsea Manning relate to the same person, so I don't think that it counts as excessive or irrelevant detail. I agree that this article is not the place to go into further detail and discuss Manning's gender identity, and I'm not proposing that we do so - simply that for each reference we choose the name by which Manning was known at the time. I think this is better than retrospectively imposing the name change before it actually happened (for which I still assert, despite Darouet's comment, that "rewriting history" is a fair description). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:57, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

Opinions are divided...[edit]

I have removed this:

Opinions are divided on the question of the arrest of Assange because the United Kingdom, a member of the Council of Europe, is committed to respecting Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights which provides the right to freedom of expression and information. This is why several magistrates, politicians and associations consider that the arrest of the whistleblower constitutes an attack on freedom of expression and international law. In effect, a United Kingdom tribunal recognised WikiLeaks as a media organisation.[1]

Practically none of this is in the source. The source does not mention Article 10 or magistrates. It does not call Assange a whistleblower. It does say: "Assange has long said WikiLeaks is a journalistic endeavor protected by freedom of the press laws. In 2017, a U.K. tribunal recognized WikiLeaks as a 'media organization'." But this is Assange's opinion. This text also perpetuates the confusion between Assange's arrest for breaching bail and the US indictment. (As I said before, I've seen no evidence so far that Assange was arrested for extradition to the US.)--Jack Upland (talk) 19:16, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

No evidence, other than the fact that Assange is currently facing extradition proceedings, for an indictment that was revealed immediately after his arrest? -Thucydides411 (talk) 06:30, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
As far as I can see, Assange was arrested for skipping bail and then the US indictment was unsealed. The text I removed is misleading. It would be better to say "extradition" in this context, rather than arrest. The arrest on the face of it was about bail, so it isn't a free speech issue.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:53, 8 May 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Wolfe, Jan; Layne, Nathan (2019-04-11). "Assange hacking charge limits free speech defense: legal experts". Reuters. Retrieved 2019-04-29.

This is Assange's opinion ? Really ? --Rebecca Jones

I was referring to the Reuters article which quotes Assange: "Assange has long said WikiLeaks is a journalistic endeavor protected by freedom of the press laws". That is Assange's opinion, quite obviously. I wasn't questioning the fact that a tribunal made a ruling that Wikileaks was a media organisation. But that does not necessarily mean that Wikileaks is "protected" by the right to freedom of speech. That didn't help News of the World. I don't see anything in that Washington Times article that gives additional support to the text I have removed. The only thing that is supported is the tribunal ruling. We don't have a source at the moment that draws a connection between Article 10 etc and the ruling. The text is just a synthesis of mainly unsourced statements. I'm not saying there aren't facts in there, but we need some citations.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:51, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

This article is very clear about the right to freedom of expression and information. Julian Assange is in United Kingdom who is committed to respecting Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He is not in United States. Therefore, Wikileaks is not "protected" by the right to freedom of speech but by this Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Because Wikileaks was recognised as a media organisation by a UK tribunal. It is not an opinion but a fact. --Rebecca Jones

It is not fact that his actions are protected. You do not have consensus for the text that you have edit-warred into the article, which now includes a cite from RT, a Russian government propaganda outlet. Please remove and gain consensus for the text. O3000 (talk) 17:18, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I've removed. Geogene (talk) 17:20, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with this removal for the reasons stated by Jack and others. The ECHR has nothing to do with hacking or bail-jumping charges, so this is inapt in any case. Neutralitytalk 18:03, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
It's also unclear whether this text is about a possible legal defence or a political argument. Assange doesn't seem particularly "protected" at the moment.--Jack Upland (talk) 19:49, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

"Criminal" in opening sentence[edit]

The fact that assange is a criminal should be clearly stated in the introduction, as he is not a good example for our children. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:908:181:4640:74E4:F73F:A2E1:8C54 (talk) 06:41, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

Many people disagree with you. Please stop edit warring. It can lead to your account being blocked. HiLo48 (talk) 06:47, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
He was not proven guilty of any serious charges that can define him as primarily a criminal. El_C 06:50, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

Assange has already been found guilty and sentenced, that makes it a fact that he is a criminal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:908:181:4640:74E4:F73F:A2E1:8C54 (talk) 06:51, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

And it is certainly not his occupation. El_C 06:52, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
This is WP:UNDUE garbage and has no place in paragraph one. GPRamirez5 (talk) 09:16, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it's that simple. Assange pleaded guilty to 25 hacking-related charges in 1996. He is now serving a prison sentence in Britain. He spent the past seven years as a fugitive from justice, avoiding facing court on a charge of rape. I don't know on what basis this is not "serious". This is what he's famous for. Saying that he is a "journalist" is misleading. How many news items has he created in the course of his "career"? What is the "occupation" of someone who has been holed up for seven years in an embassy, dependent on the embassy for food etc. What is the "occupation" of a convict who is facing two possible extradictions? The introduction should make it clear what he is notable for, and should not create a mundane career he has never had.--Jack Upland (talk) 05:42, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Julian Assange is primarily known for WikiLeaks. Of the people who have heard of Julian Assange, I doubt more than a small fraction are even aware of the hacking charges he plead to as a teenager. That episode only comes up in a tiny percentage of the coverage of him, whereas his role in WikiLeaks will reliably be mentioned in nearly every article about him.
We're on pretty solid footing to call Julian Assange a "journalist." He's won a number of journalism awards (including the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism and the GUE/NGL Award for Journalists). WikiLeaks is behind some of the highest-impact stories in the past decade.
The lede should begin by describing what Assange is primarily known for - his role in WikiLeaks, and the major leaks it has enabled. The lede should later deal with other issues that are important to his biography, including his asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, the investigation in Sweden, and the American government's attempt to extradite him to the US. -Thucydides411 (talk) 18:15, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Agree with Thucydides411, this 'criminal' is a POV and moreover doesn't comply with WP:BLP Jtbobwaysf (talk) 19:41, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
What part of the BLP policy are you referring to? You don't write an encyclopedia based on what the general public are aware of. He pleaded guilty to hacking when he was 25, not as a teenager, having been under police investigation since 1991. He was given a three year good behaviour bond. The Swedish charges arose in 2010. He chose to skip bail in 2012. The rest you know. He is now 47, almost 48. For only about 10 years of adult life, 2000-2009, was he not in the clutches of a criminal justice system. Criminal charges have dominated his life. It is wrong not to mention them in the opening sentence. I don't think he should be labelled a "criminal" — that's too broad. But his life should not be misrepresented. With regard to his journalism, Dylan got a Nobel Prize of literature, Kissinger and Obama for peace, and Rutherford for chemistry. Prizes are not a good guide to what someone is. What about "activist"?--Jack Upland (talk) 05:54, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
The idea that "criminal charges have dominated his life" is your personal interpretation. By far, Julian Assange is best known for WikiLeaks. Very few people have heard about the hacking he did as a teenager, and it's a pretty hard sell to say that that episode is in any way comparable in importance in this biography to Assange's activities with WikiLeaks. Assange isn't some random person who somehow received several journalism awards - the publishing he's done through WikiLeaks is what won him those awards. That publishing was behind a number of the highest-impact stories over the past decade. The issue of skipping bail is covered in the lede, when it chronologically comes up. If we're going to define who Julian Assange is in one sentence, however, "he skipped bail and is serving a jail sentence" doesn't make the cut. WikiLeaks certainly does. -Thucydides411 (talk) 06:29, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
So seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy isn't important???--Jack Upland (talk) 08:38, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
When did I ever say that, and what does political asylum have to do with him supposedly being a criminal? -Thucydides411 (talk) 03:46, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
While he did receive asylum, by refusing to leave the embassy he became a criminal, and he is now in jail because of that. The opening sentence should sum up the whole article [7]. Why is he notable? Yes, he is notable because he founded WikiLeaks. He is also notable for being in the Ecuadorian Embassy for seven years. That should be alluded to in the opening sentence, and then the lead can deal with it chronologically. At the moment the opening sentence gives no indication of any of his legal problems over the past decade. And that's wrong.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:48, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Jack, it's clear that you're intent on labeling Assange a criminal in the first sentence, while removing the label "journalist." I think that would be highly POV, and not reflect what he's known for. He's primarily known for WikiLeaks. His legal troubles are handled later in the lede. -Thucydides411 (talk) 15:36, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

Any suggestion that Assange is "criminal" would be a violation of WP:BLPCRIME and I am pretty sure that Assange team can sue Wikipedia for that. Assange is accused of crimes but nothing has been proven by the court.--SharabSalam (talk) 04:57, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with SharabSalam and others above. If this POV pushing cant stop, then the offending editors that seek to violate wikipedia policy must be banned from the page. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 05:15, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
What are you talking about? He has been convicted of 25 crimes and is currently serving a prison sentence.--Jack Upland (talk) 06:59, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Having thought about it, I think the earlier hacking convictions should be in the lead. They are notable, being featured in works such as Underground (Dreyfus book) and Underground: The Julian Assange Story. Various sources name him as a former hacker:[8][9][10][11]. I don't see how a sentence in the lead would be excessive. It would do a lot to counteract the perception of bias in the article.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:47, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Jack, you are pushing a POV. Assange is not known for his hacking convictions that occurred 23+ years ago. Can you find sources to show he was notable at that time for hacking? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 04:50, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
I provided sources that show that his hacking convictions are considered notable at the present time.--Jack Upland (talk) 05:33, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
No, you found a few articles that mention it. There are many articles about Julian Assange. What percentage cover his teenage hacking, and what percentage cover his activities with WikiLeaks? The answer to that question tells you what weight should be given to each aspect of his life. -Thucydides411 (talk) 14:14, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
That's another false dichotomy. The introduction can mention WikiLeaks and have a sentence about hacking. It is misleading to talk about "teenage hacking". He was 19 when police raided his home. At that time, according to the article, he was married with a child. They were not juvenile crimes. The hacking was the first part of his life that came to public attention, being mentioned in the Dreyfus book. Why do you object to having one sentence in the introduction?--Jack Upland (talk) 07:20, 25 May 2019 (UTC)


I decided to separate this issue out from the above. The Oxford Dictionary (Oxford Living Dictionaries) defines "journalist" as "A person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast".[12] This doesn't really fit Assange at all. His writing and broadcasting has been minimal. Merely because he has received prizes for "journalism" doesn't make him a journalist, as discussed above. There are plenty of people who don't believe he is a journalist.[13][14][15][16][17] They might be wrong, but Wikipedia should not endorse a contentious description of Assange in the opening sentence, nor should we use a description that is potentially misleading.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:38, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

I don't think Assange is still the editor of Wikileaks. Wikileaks'"About" page names Assange as "publisher". It is dated 2015, which isn't very helpful. The WikiLeaks Defence Fund says, "Julian was the editor of WikiLeaks until September 2018: six months of his effective incommunicado detention in the Ecuadorian embassy in London then prompted Julian to appoint Kristin Hrafnsson as WikiLeaks editor-in-chief. Julian remains WikiLeaks’ publisher." This page is also out of date. This article confirms the change. I also don't see any evidence he is currently described as the "director", though I accept this was probably true at some point.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:57, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
WikiLeaks prepares newsworthy material for publication. That's the primary function of the organization. It's behind some of the highest-impact news stories of the last decade. There's a case to be made that as a journalistic organization, it's been behind more major stories than most newspapers. There are opinion pieces in which people who are politically opposed to Julian Assange attack him as not being a journalist, but that doesn't change the fact that he founded and served as the editor of what has arguably been one of the most successful journalistic organizations of the past decade, in terms of breaking major stories. I can see the way you're trying to reshape this article, by removing the description "journalist," calling Assange a criminal in the first sentence, and repeating "breaching bail" over and over again throughout the article. It strikes me as a very POV way to frame the article, as if this is being transformed from a biography into an attack article. -Thucydides411 (talk) 16:39, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
I must agree with Thucydides' argument here. Love him or loathe him, Assange has delivered sensational journalism, repeatedly, consistently, over 10+ years, and he never had to retract any of the information he exposed. The whole world is mad at him because he dangerously denounced abuses of power, be it military, financial or political. — JFG talk 20:11, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Absurd comment.[18] The organization that he runs (i.e. the only thing that purportedly makes him worthy of the journalist label) has frequently promoted hoaxes, falsehoods and conspiracy theories.[19] Assange himself played a key role in pushing the Murder of Seth Rich conspiracy (the Mueller report documents how he knowingly did so even though he knew Seth Rich was uninvolved). Snooganssnoogans (talk) 20:40, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
"The whole world is mad at him because he dangerously denounced abuses of power, be it military, financial or political." When he's not leaking Social Security numbers, medical information, credit card numbers, and details of suicide attempts, as well as outing teenage rape victims and homosexuals in anti-LGBT countries. Or when he encourages actors to cast doubt on the veracity of democratic elections (before they even take place) and lies about the Panama Papers which coincidentally happened to contain information that reflected poorly on Russian elites. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 20:54, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
You don't like his methods, fine. That's still journalism. — JFG talk 14:48, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
None of what I list there is "journalism". Snooganssnoogans (talk) 15:00, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
He's absolutely not a journalist. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 20:40, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Snooganssnoogans, I suggest you click the link to the WikiLeaks article and give it a read. I know a lot of people politically dislike Julian Assange, and express the same political hostility towards him that you're expressing here, but WikiLeaks does have quite a record of high-impact journalism, love them out hate them. -Thucydides411 (talk) 22:27, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
We've talked a bit about this word "journalist" over at WPO. At its base is "jour" (day). book of days scribe. I don't know how many days he was exiled in the embassy. We probably couldn't call him a churnalist or a troll, because that wouldn't be right: it would make wikileaks look unnecessarily troll-y (with their trolliful of docs). But as for traditional jobs... publisher, maybe? SashiRolls t · c 22:37, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps whistleblower editor of WikiLeaks would work better. Jed Stuart (talk) 04:37, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
I would be against any politically motivated removal of the label "journalist." There is a big push among some American politicians to label Assange as something other than a journalist, despite the obvious journalistic work of WikiLeaks and Assange's journalism awards, but Wikipedia should not follow on this campaign. -Thucydides411 (talk) 14:12, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
According to WP:Balance we should describe both points of view and not take sides.--Jack Upland (talk) 19:27, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Just looked at Wikileaks for the first time, and I don’t see how the editor and publisher are any more journalists than the founders of The Pirate Bay are musicians. Am I missing something? Reminds me of the editor here who wrote an article about himself claiming he was a NYT journalist because he wrote a letter to the editor. O3000 (talk) 19:46, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
I think WikiLeaks contributed to journalism, which is what I think the awards were about. However, no one so far has produced a source saying that Assange was a journalist. As discussed before, some people are making a false dichotomy between journalist and criminal. We shouldn't take part in this. Denying that he is a journalist does not mean asserting that he is guilty of anything. Equally, describing him as a journalist does not establish his innocence.--Jack Upland (talk) 20:18, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
@Objective3000: I don't understand your comment - maybe it was made in jest? Even a cursory glance over the Wikipedia page on WikiLeaks makes their journalistic work obvious. They've published documents relating to corruption in Kenya, American military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, American diplomacy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Syrian government during the civil war, and much more. Julian Assange has won a number of journalism awards for his work at WikiLeaks. -Thucydides411 (talk) 20:23, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
They're publishing stolen works provided by anons. Kind of like torrent sites. Looks like they don't even remove social security numbers and other private info. RS publish info like this too -- with editorial control. I'm not here to debate their goodness or badness -- just doesn't sound like journalism to me. O3000 (talk) 20:30, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Your above political criticisms of WikiLeaks are noted, but not relevant here. Their journalistic activities - publishing leaked documents they consider in the public interest - are well known, regardless of various political objections to their activities. -Thucydides411 (talk) 21:09, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
The point is: publishing documents doesn't make him a journalist.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:00, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
Another problem is that, if you argue he is an journalist because of WikiLeaks, then it is redundant to say he is a journalist and founder of WikiLeaks. Perhaps we could say he is the "founder of the media organisation WikiLeaks". But "journalist and founder" implies two separate roles, perhaps suggesting that he was a journalist before he founded WikiLeaks.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:48, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
Thirdly, Thucydides has been citing the awards Assange has received as proof he is a journalist. However, as far as I can see, based on the citations given in this article, none of these awards explicitly named Assange as a journalist, except perhaps the Yoko Ono award. Though the award's webpage calls him a "journalist" (as well as the "principle" (sic) of WikiLeaks), the award itself is for artists. The Sydney Peace Medal recognised Assange’s "leadership, courage and tenacity in journalism and publishing, and pays tribute to his enduring conviction that truth matters and justice depends on it". And the Union of Journalists in Kazakhstan recognised "his oustanding efforts in investigative journalism". But that's as good as it gets. I'm also not sure that the awards are all for Assange. The Economist New Media Award cited Chinese dissidents and others. New York Festivals World's Best TV & Films Silver World Medal was for a Russian TV show. It's an impressive list, but I don't see that it proves that Assange is a journalist.--Jack Upland (talk) 04:41, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

I can find no record of him ever being a journalist, some awards noted in the article appear to be somewhat political in nature and a two finger salute to the USA, I could see him being described as a publisher in that he provided both a platform and financial rewards for notorious and sensational leaks to be published in full, with no preparation or input from him directly, indeed what he released was not vetted by him or anyone in his organisation and the impact of such not considered, I.e. The worst kind of publisher, done for his own ends only and damn the consequences. If you compare his case(s) to many of the historical "leaks" e.g. Watergate, the real journalists in that instance heard some rumours asked lots of questions, found some more sources and then published many articles, slowly applying pressure and got to the truth of the matter, JA verbatim essentially coppied and pasted any and all with no oversight or integrity, writing a few opinion pieces (also very poorly written and based on one leaked document I.e. Not balanced or impartial) does not make him a journalist. If anyone can provide any reputable sources, and provide any evidence that he was considered a journalist before any of these trash one paragraph opinion blogs where he summarised one leak here and there please add these to the article and I will accept, otherwise his description needs to be modified to "publisher, notorious blogger, attention seeker, unthinking ex-hacker who hides behind a lack of understanding about press freedom and norms" or similar. Thoughts 2404:4408:205A:4B00:4D43:12DF:80AE:4C08 (talk)

No comments, all good. I think the consensus above is remove journalist as highly misleading


Since we're talking about his occupation, what about his income? In this interview in 2010, which is cited in the Wikileaks article, he says, "I have made money in the Internet. So I have enough money to do that [work full-time without a salary], but also not forever. And the other four guys, in the moment they are also able to self-finance". This, however states he was paid $86,000 in 2010, apparently out of donations. It also mentions book deals. This says that Assange boasted about making a lot of money on bitcoin (for what that's worth). It would be good to clarify this.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:11, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

This states he looked after his son Daniel (born 1989) as a single father for 14 years. This would cover the period of the "Programming" section. Regarding WikiLeaks, the $86,000 mentioned above is probably expenses rather than a salary, bearing in mind that Assange was travelling the world at that time. According to this, Ecuador supported him financially from 2012 until December last year. Now of course Her Majesty is putting him up. So this seems to be an unusual case of someone who is 47 years old, but has never had a paying job or run a profit-making business.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:14, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

Assange's belongings[edit]

I recently added the following text to the article:

On 2 May 2019, WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson attempted to secure the belongings Assange left at the Ecuadorian embassy. However, he was denied entry by Ecuadorian diplomats.[1] Wikileaks claimed later in May that Assange's belongings such as manuscripts, legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment were to be turned over to US prosecutors by Ecuador. Baltasar Garzon, who is the international legal co-ordinator for the defence of Assange and WikiLeaks said "It is extremely worrying that Ecuador has proceeded with the search and seizure of property, documents, information and other material belonging to the defence of Julian Assange, which Ecuador arbitrarily confiscated, so that these can be handed over to the the agent of political persecution against him, the United States".[2]

It was reverted. I am unclear of the reasons for the reversion so I will quote the text attached to the revert:

“And this has do do with the biography of Julian”

The text that I added was about Assange and was widely covered in the media. We know that Assange has been charged in the US and is fighting extradition. The significance to his cases of the US obtaining the “manuscripts, legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment” left in the embassy seems evident. The quote from Assange’s representative indicates how serious it is being taken by his team. What do other editors think?Burrobert (talk) 13:52, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

If it was widely covered, can you find a better source? RT is not a reliable source, and The Age article sounds like it was written by Wikileaks. O3000 (talk) 14:04, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
RT is a source for the initial two sentences which I put in for context. The attempt by Hrafnsson to obtain Assange's belongings does not seem to be widely reported. RT isn't a proscribed source although I think it is frowned on for controversial matters. However I don't think Hrafnsson's attempt is controversial so don't see a problem using it here. If other editors disagree then omitting that part of the text would be the solution. The Age does quote from Wikileaks and I have attributed the claim to Wikileaks. The same story with the same quotes from Wikileaks appears on MSN [3] and[4] and on Yahoo with a different quote from Assange's lawyer in Madrid, Aitor Martinez[5]. A duckduckgo search should bring up others.Burrobert (talk) 14:38, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
These articles talk to a possible future event based on a claimed email that is not authenticated. Wait until something actually happens. WP:RECENTISM. O3000 (talk) 15:05, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
RT is reliable to report Hrafnsson was denied entry to the Ecuadorian embassy to retrieve Assange's belongings. I haven't seen any WP:RSN decision that RT is generally unreliable - perhaps someone could point towards such a thread, if it exists. If we want to be cautious, we can attribute these claims about Assange's belongings in the embassy to Hrafnsson and WikiLeaks. The issue of Assange's belongings has now been widely reported, and it probably deserves a sentence in the article. -Thucydides411 (talk) 17:51, 20 May 2019 (UTC)



The opening sentence currently names him as a "former director" and the infobox calls him a "director" of WikiLeaks. No source is cited and this is not mentioned in the body of the article. This says: "WikiLeaks’ job titles have proven fluid over the years. Assange has variously described himself as the group’s spokesman, publisher and editor." I'm sure he was named director at one point, and maybe he still is, but should this be mentioned in the opening sentence. Isn't "founder" enough?--Jack Upland (talk) 20:52, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Following the AP article you link above, we could say something like,
"[...] and the founder of WikiLeaks, variously described as its publisher, spokesman and editor."
How does that sound? -Thucydides411 (talk) 21:14, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
He is often described as a journalist, especially in recent news events (noting this is controversial, but we have plenty of sources to cover it). Jtbobwaysf (talk) 01:48, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
You have never produced these sources, and this is the wrong section to raise this point.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:02, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
With regard to Thucydides411's question, I wouldn't object to something on those lines.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:50, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

Hawkins and Assange[edit]

The article refers to Brett Assange whom "Julian regards as his father (choosing Assange as his surname)". I can't access the source. When did Julian choose Assange as his surname? Brett and Christine Hawkins married when Julian was one year old and divorced about 1979, i.e., when he was still a little boy. If his name was changed in the 1970s, it wasn't much of a choice. And if he changed his name later in life, when and why? And if his name was changed when he was very young, why mention it three times in the article? It's not very important.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:07, 25 May 2019 (UTC)