UNVERIFIED: US preparing charges against Assange, Wikileaks

On April 20th 2017 several US news publications reported the US Government is preparing charges for the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

However, this information did not come from (or was confirmed by) a named US official or institution. Leveraging statements from the CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the Wikileaks investigation (that dates back from 2010), the claim that US is preparing to charge Assange and Wikileaks was attributed to “US officials familiar with the matter” and “people familiar with the case”.

This tactic of creating news based on anonymous or unnamed sources even by established mainstream media outlets results in the publishing and distribution of unverified claims, directing news information with a low level of trustworthiness. While these news stories were read by hundreds and thousands of people across the globe, the claim was not confirmed until the date of publishing this material.

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