Wikileaks: Why Flattr didn’t budge to the pressure

Flattr Wikileaks by Kevin MacphailIt feels like only yesterday that Wikileaks was getting tossed off the Internet, and blocked from transactions through PayPal, Visa and Mastercard. Flattr was one of the few remaining ways to easily support Wikileaks.
We never made any official statements about it, but questions about it were asked from a few journalists. We wanted to give you a bit more of the story. So I asked Peter and Linus about it.

Why didn’t Flattr jump aboard the band wagon to remove ways to fund Wikileaks?
Why should we? They’re not even formally charged of anything. At Flattr we feel that it’s super important to protect basic democratic values – everyone should have the same possibilities and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It’s that simple. We can’t have different values for different people…
We don’t think this is our call, we should not impose moral judgement on our users. We have laws that control these kind of things, we should not.

Was there any fear that you’d get blocked by PayPal, Visa and Mastercard yourself, for allowing Wikileaks?
The fear was more that if they do it, we’d have to build a competitor towards them quickly. We don’t have the time to do it, but if they keep doing this, eventually people will get tired of them and start looking for alternatives!
Fear is nothing but obstacles that should be overcome. Let them come, we will just run faster to the finish line.

How do you think this will affect Flattr’s public image in the long run?
Hopefully people trust us and they understand that we stand for basic values in society. We’re not a one-in-a-dozen companies that just follows pressure. We have a goal with what we want to achieve and we’re doing it following our convictions!

Wikileaks can be found here on Flattr.

Other articles referring to Wikileaks and Flattr:
OnSoftware: Exclusive Interview with Flattr
TechCrunch: Flattr rolls out direct donations – wikileaks likely to benefit greatly
ReadWriteWeb: Support Writers, publishers and Non-profits (yes including Wikileaks)
Forbes: Wikileaks can still get cash thanks to Pirate Bays co-founder
TechCrunch: Why Tech Startup Flattr may be the key to Wikileaks Future Funding


Picture created by Kevin Macphail, can be flattred.

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6 Responses to Wikileaks: Why Flattr didn’t budge to the pressure

  1. Florian says:

    I think it was a good step not to give an official statement about the decision. It might just have given you unwanted/unneeded attention from the press or politicians. This can easily turn into a threat when they “recommend” you to stop flattr support for wikileaks.
    It’s great to see that you give your best to protect basic values on the internet. It was a great step to implement direct donations.
    And my answer to your last question:
    I think it helps you to get even more accepted and trusted by internet users. At least I can say that for myself. I joined flattr originally just to test it for my blog. I knew it was about helping consumers giving a small amount of money to producers. But over the time it felt like flattr is more than that, like there is “something more” behind it.
    And this post seems to confirm this impression.
    It’s not my intention to gloryfy flattr in a way or something like that. This is the way i experienced flattr. And this is also an argument why I will go on using it. Flattr is unique in several ways. I hope this helps you to become even more accepted and trusted.

  2. gaiapunk says:

    I wish flattr could be my only online payment processor. Can you folks make that happen, hehe.

  3. In this day and age of over the top political correctness and everybody towing the party line (or should that read the US line) it’s good to see a company like flattr that isn’t afraid to be bullied or harassed. If any newspaper reporter was handed stories, printed them without any editing and then had his wages and assets frozen he would have every company involved in the European Court of Human Rights within the week. Why is Julian Assange in his current predicament? Purely because the stuff that was posted on Wikileaks is true news that the governments don’t want people to see. If he had only released stuff about the eastern world then you can bet he would be picking up his Nobel Peace Prize this year.

    Wikileaks isn’t discriminating, it simply posts the stuff that ALL governments don’t want you to see. Flattr could prove to play a vital role in the future of Wikileaks, regardless of what happens with Julian Assange. The fact that they are sticking their neck out and not discriminating against Wikileaks may well get the company some stick from various sources, however it will also gain it a lot of press. People need to know about Flattr for it to fulfil it’s amazing potential, the very ones that may try to discredit the site, may do a better job promoting it than it’s most enthusiastic supporters could.

    Kudos to Flattr for making a powerful statement.

  4. mattias says:

    i think its great that flattr didnt take wikileaks of there site thumbs up flattr we love you ;D

  5. Carmen says:

    If I could flattr you some time, believe me, I would. I’m waiting for an alternative to Paypal so desperately. Although, I’m unwilling to give Paypal any personal data anyways, they wouldn’t even allow me to use their service. Those double moral standard morons ban sexwork from being paid via Paypal, even though it’s perfectly legal work in my country. That’s so stupid!

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