As the year draws to a close, those of us at the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) have been reflecting on what we’ve accomplished so far in 2019.
It’s been a big year for NWC in more ways than one. We saw major organizational changes, a series of policy achievements, and unprecedented news coverage of our leaders and our message about the importance of whistleblowers and the need to protect their rights to keep their identities confidential.
It was hard to narrow them down, but we’ve shared three of our top highlights from this year below. The rest will be published with our End-of-Year Report later this December – keep an eye out.
- Celebrating National Whistleblower Day: For the sixth year in a row, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a declaration declaring July 30th as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” to commemorate the passage of America’s first whistleblower law. To celebrate the occasion, NWC hosted its annual event recognizing the agency heads, members of Congress, and whistleblowers who make it all possible. It was the most successful National Whistleblower Day yet with a record number of lawmakers featured, including our first lawmaker from abroad offering perspectives on the U.S. system.
- Preventing an SEC Rollback of Whistleblower Protections and Rewards: In June 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced proposed changes to its extremely successful whistleblower program. Since then, we have been leading a monumental campaign to convince them not to put these potentially disastrous rules into action. And thanks to an outpouring of opposition from our supporters, with a record 115,000 comments and petition signatures filed, we scored a crucial victory. The SEC delayed the vote, and Chairman Clayton has since publicly affirmed his commitment to the program. While we wait for the final vote, we continue to encourage our supporters to take action in support of whistleblowers here.
- Exposing Facebook’s Terror and Hate Content Problem: We’ve been working to hold Facebook accountable for illegal wildlife trafficking on its platform since 2016, but this year we added a new dimension to our campaign. On behalf of an anonymous whistleblower, we filed a petition before the SEC in January about the proliferation of terror and hate content on Facebook – and the fact the website is auto-generating its own. The AP published explosive articles about the story in May and September, and Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) specifically called out our petition in a June Congressional hearing focused on social media accountability.
We couldn’t have accomplished any of this without our fantastic supporters, and we’re looking forward to carrying this momentum into 2020.
Want to become a part of our growing movement? NWC is participating in #GivingTuesday again this year – one of the best ways for supporters to become more involved in issues they care about. Donate here and help us make a difference today.