The latest revelation from Wikileaks is not a cable that uncovers a country’s well hidden secrets, but is rather a cleverly put together ad parodying the infamous MasterCard commercials, called “What Does it Cost to Change the World?”
In it, the price of Julian Assange’s legal battles, the price incurred by his house arrest, and the amount of money in lost donations are all pitted against the priceless act of “watching the world change as a result of your work.”
The video is, needless to say, impeccably put together, and both the concept and message are strong. The ad, despite having been available online for over a week, has only just caused some ripples in the Egyptian blogosphere
The imagery used in the video is one of the most gruesome and fatal battles that took place between protesters and the Egyptian riot police, on Kasr al Nil Bridge, where many people were brutally run down or shot.
The use of this scene has struck a nerve both with Egyptian activists and with their supporters, questioning Wikileaks decision to take a certain amount of credit for an uprising that was long in the making, pushed forward by an inordinate amount of people who may have possibly never even heard of Wikileaks.
Jillian York, the Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says on Twitter:
I would like the Wikileaks ad a lot more if it didn’t seem like Assange was taking credit for the Arab Spring…
On the flip side, it could be said that the use of imagery from the Egyptian uprising is simply symbolic of the kind of effect Wikileaks has had on the world, and no one can deny that it has had an effect. Asma S asks on Twitter,
Is Wikileaks taking credit for the revolution in Egypt? or is everyone just exaggerating?
The video is open to interpretation – are they implying that Wikileaks caused the Egyptian uprising? Or are they simply using it as an image that represents what Wikileaks is capable of doing, because it is so easily identifiable in people’s minds? Watch the video below and let us know what you think.