February 28, 2022
The CIA venture capital fund In-Q-Tel has announced it is funding the entire Series A round for co-working startup WePlot for corporate journalists.
The start up was conceived by a former deputy director of the CIA and an MIT professor of business ergonomics who has been on the CIA payroll for decades.
“We wanted to take the genius of the community ethos of WeWork and apply it to news agencies and the intelligence community to form one group that fuses all the ways both are making the world a better place. And so WePlot was born,” said Professor Won Long Wang who also serves on the boards of Zoom and TikTok.
WePlot got right to work buying up office space in New York and Washington D.C. The New York Times and Washington Post have announced they are moving their entire foreign correspondent staff, foreign policy staff and politics departments to the new co-working spaces, along with the Atlantic, the Economist and Foreign Policy magazines. ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC all praised the idea for its efficiency in coordinating their daily narratives and will all have teams in WePlot offices.
In New York WePlot will be located across the street from the United Nations, while in the capitol they will be next door to the Canon House Office building on the hill where it will be easier to meet with Speaker Pelosi’s team on coordinating stories and narratives on race, white supremacy and domestic terrorism. Washington Post Assistant Editor Malik Ahmed said this would streamline coordination processes with CIA officers.
“Sometimes they get stuck in traffic coming to our offices from Langley and we are late for editorial meetings. This just makes things easier if we all show up at the same place. No more scheduling conflicts or issues with technological or cognitive symmetry.”
CIA spokesperson Shirley Jenkins says it works better for the agency for security reasons as well. “The post doesn’t have the kind of robust cyber security measures we do, so by giving them a place where the infrastructure is already in place we don’t have to constantly be checking their servers for breaches.”
She also mentioned the importance of having their cyber hacking team Anonymous in the new WePlot buildings to better coordinate their attacks with corporate journalists and CIA officers. “Anonymous have been an essential part of going after all the targets that the CIA wants them to go after. Having reporters close by who can manage the narratives of their hacking campaigns will be indispensable in convincing people of the righteousness and virtues of their operations.”
They plan to open a west coast co-working office in Los Angeles that would include all west coast newspapers, plus entertainment rags Rolling Stone, GQ, Variety and Hollywood Reporter. Eventually they will go global with offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Toronto, Tel Aviv, Auckland and Melbourne.
The Tech community praised the idea, calling Professor Wang a real visionary. Kara Swisher called him “…a true genius with the insight and pulse of the news and information economies and how they ought to function in a free and open society that values diversity of thought and transparency.”
WePlot has plans to expand in silicon valley with representatives from Google, Apple, Facebook (now Meta) and Twitter meeting with news agencies together in real time to coordinate which authoritative sources will be allowed on their platforms instead of getting daily memos from the CIA.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement early today celebrating the start-up, “We need more Wangs out there to probe for the truth. It’s just a big win for democracy and in the war against misinformation.”
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