Eighteen months ago, before WikiLeaks was even on the radar for most people, The Socionomist said its days were numbered and forecast that authorities would soon force it to go dark.
How did analysts at the Socionomics Institute know? “It was the direction of social mood,” said Alan Hall. “With mood increasingly negative, we’d been forecasting a dramatic expansion of the ideological conflict between authoritarians and anti-authoritarians around the globe. We saw WikiLeaks as an emerging flashpoint based on the kinds of information they publish and our understanding of where mood was headed.”
Today, WikiLeaks says it’s facing an “unlawful financial blockade” by “politicized U.S. finance companies” which has forced it into “temporarily” suspend publishing while soliciting donations from the public.
The Socionomics Institute studies how social mood influences social trends. Their research shows that trends and turns in social mood are useful to predict otherwise surprising events. In a detailed report published in The Socionomist in May 2010, Hall explained that whistleblower websites like WikiLeaks – and indeed the “unfettered” Internet itself — undercut authorities’ ability to control information. The WikiLeaks controversy is an early skirmish in an epic, brewing battle over Internet regulation and freedoms, Hall said. “A government that feels threatened by its citizens usually clamps down on the information flow. This makes the Internet a prime authoritarian/anti-authoritarian battleground.”
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About The Socionomics Institute
The Socionomics Institute, based in Gainesville, Ga., studies social mood and its role in driving cultural, economic and political trends. The Institute’s analysis is published in the monthly research review, The Socionomist. Work by the Socionomics Institute and other socionomists has been covered by The Atlantic, Barron’s, Esquire Magazine, The Futurist Magazine, MarketWatch, Mother Jones, Nature, New Scientist, Science, USA Today and others. Learn more at https://www.socionomics.net.