Now more than ever, we need to understand social media - the good as well as the bad. We need critical knowledge that helps us to navigate the controversies and contradictions of this complex digital media landscape. Only then can we make informed judgements about what's happening in our media world, and why.

Showing the reader how to ask the right kinds of questions about social media, Christian Fuchs takes us on a journey across social media, delving deep into case studies on Google, Facebook, Twitter, WikiLeaks and Wikipedia. The result lays bare the structures and power relations at the heart of our media landscape.

This book is the essential, critical guide for all students of media studies and sociology. Readers will never look at social media the same way again.

WikiLeaks: Can We Make Power Transparent?

WikiLeaks: Can we make power transparent?

Key Questions

  • What does WikiLeaks tell us about power and counter-power?
  • What is transparency and how does it relate to WikiLeaks?
  • What kind of medium is WikiLeaks?
  • Does WikiLeaks provide an alternative medium?
  • Can WikiLeaks be called a form of journalism?

Key Concepts

  • Transparency
  • Disciplinary power
  • Watchdog
  • Watch platform
  • Liberalism
  • Socialism
  • Alternative media
  • Journalism


WikiLeaks ( is a non-commercial and non-profit Internet whistleblowing platform that has been online since 2006. Julian Assange founded it. It is funded by online donations. Whistleblowers can upload documents that are intended to make the misbehaviour and crimes of governments and corporations transparent, i.e. visible to the public. One can upload such documents anonymously by making use of an online submission form.

In April 2010, WikiLeaks published a video (entitled “Collateral Murder”) that shows ...

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