Their 10 theses begins with some basic reading for those new to wikileaks or crowd-sourced, collaborative investigative journalism that paces it firmly in a time-worn tradition:
"[…] Disclosures and leaks have been of all times, but never before has non state- or non- corporate affiliated group done ever before has a non state- or non- corporate affiliated group done this at the scale Wikileaks managed to with the 'Afghan War Logs'.”
Given the current media hype around Wikileaks and the War in Iraq, Lovink and Riemens inject some critical reflection into the debate:
“Nonetheless,” they argue:
“we believe that this is more something of a quantitative leap than of a qualitative one. […] In the ongoing saga termed "The Decline of the US Empire", Wikileaks enters the stage as the slayer of a soft target. It would be difficult to imagine it doing quite the same to the Russian or Chinese government, or even to that of Singapore – not to speak of their … err… 'corporate' affiliates. Here distinct, and huge, cultural and linguistic barriers are at work, not to speak of purely power-related ones, that would need to be surmounted."
Lovink and Riemen's Theses are broad and searching and help any social media evangelists place the current Wikileaks phenomenon into perspective. A must read.