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Jean-Charles Longuet

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Telling the truth: are there limits?

Two recent talks focused on "Truth" as something good/moral. Practically, however, some information may cause havoc: the Wikileaks diplomatic data disclosure, for example, coulad have put some people at risk.

How should we manage the decision to disclose (or not) such information? Or manage the moral dilemma when telling a lie may have a positive outcome?

[update 2012/11/25] The conversation initially mixed a few things : Truth is something that is not as obvious as it seems, and Lies are more related to a deceiving/manipulative intention that to the hiding of some Truth.

Anyway, all points of views are welcome.


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      Nov 21 2012: Wikileaks seems a good example to me as it show the impact of full disclosure. I used former Wired journalist Kim Zetter as a source (in http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec11/wikileaks_09-06.html). She was shortlisted for investigations prices and seems a correct source to me. To cite her :

      "So what we have are about between 2,000 and 3,000 names of people identified by U.S. diplomatic sources whose identity should have been -- should have been protected.
      We have about 150 whistle-blowers identified, about 1,000 activists named in the documents. So, previously, all of these would have been blacked out and protected."

      As giving explicit names can only point out people already at risk, not hearing more about them does not seem an argument to me...
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          Nov 22 2012: I read the full article, and while I I fully agree that this specific publishing was not deliberate, the fact still stands : some data disclosure occured, that may present a risk (I was assertive with the Wikileak example, I should have be more cautious) .

          Now, just to make my point clear : I used the Wikileaks disclosure as an example regarding the moral behavior that is required (or not, depending your opinion) about information communication, not as a trial against Wikileaks.

          So, maybe indeed nobody hurted, nobody was put at risk. I doubt we could ever have a clear view about it

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