Wikileaks founder Julian Assange took to Reddit for a live video-streamed Reddit AMA. In the stream he read user questions and answered them in real time—to prove, among other things, that he’s not dead.
One of the first questions Assange answered came from the conspiracy theory that Assange is no longer alive, and all the recent videos of him were actually computer generated a la Princess Leia in Rogue One. Some believed that Assange was a pre-rendered hologram and the questions he answered in the AMA would all be from plants (possibly Russians).
To demonstrate that he exists in the here and now, Assange read out recent basketball scores. He also read out a recent hash of the bitcoin blockchain, essentially a nerdier way of proving that the video was not prerecorded.
Assange says if he is under duress, “close friends and lawyers” will announce it to the public.
The stream ended abruptly with Assange slowly disappearing while the green screen background remained. This did not help assuage doubts he was not a hologram.
One of the top comments in the AMA thread asked for Assange to digitally sign an encrypted message with the Wikileaks private PGP key. Assange skipped this question and answered another, simply proving he was alive.
Assange is supposed to have a “private key,” and only Assange could sign the message in a special way which anyone can verify.
The Redditor who asked the question speculated that because Assange would not sign the message, he no longer had access to Wikileaks’ private PGP key and that Wikileaks was somehow compromised. So alive, but possibly not fully in control of Wikileaks.
On the other hand, Assange is clearly free to answer whatever questions he feels like in an AMA, even if he does skip over the tough ones.