WikiLeaks to Reporters: Don’t Say These 140 Things About Julian Assange

Wikileaks on Sunday sent major media outlets a list of 140 “false and defamatory” statements they should not make about founder Julian Assange, Reuters reports. “There is a pervasive climate of inaccurate claims about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, including purposeful fabrications planted in large and otherwise ‘reputable’ media outlets,” WikiLeaks wrote. “Consequently journalists and publishers have a clear responsibility to carefully fact-check from primary sources and to consult the following list to ensure they are not spreading, and have not spread, defamatory falsehoods about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.” The list of allegedly false claims included a few common allegations—that Assange had served as an “agent or officer of any intelligence service,” or that he had ties to the Russian government—and some unexpected ones: It is, apparently, false and defamatory to claim that Assange has bleached his hair, is a hacker, or has poor personal hygiene. It remains unclear why WikiLeaks chose to release the list at this time, but the email reportedly criticized The Guardian for publishing what WikiLeaks described as a false allegation about Assange.