Martin Wells

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Person.png Martin WellsRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(whistleblower, propagandist)
Martin Wells.png


In office
2006 - 2008
EmployerBell Pottinger

Martin Wells worked for Bell Pottinger from 2006-2008. He reported that the company was paid about £120 million/year by the US army.[1]


Wells worked on creating and editing:

  • Arabic looking videos about news in Iraq, for a Western audience.
  • TVCs, "television commercials to say Al-Qaeda are bad"
  • VCDs using Al Qaeda footage, using Real Player particular technical format so that their viewing by machines on line could be tracked by Google analytics. These were dropped in Iraq in houses raids and patrols by US marines. Wells claims that he collated the data of where these VCDs where watched.[2]


Wells spent over a year on the contract before resigning. He was concerned about his safety, flying in and out of a war zone, and he explained "I just couldn't do it any longer. When you've got over 500 tapes with more atrocities than you can believe could ever be committed to another human being on, um, there's only so much you can take."[2]


Related Quotation

Gigablast“The search engine was based on the Gigablast open-source search engine by Matt Wells. Normally I endorse the “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” saying, but… That was one of the biggest mistakes we made. Looking back, that codebase was outdated and we ended up putting way too much time and money into bug-fixing and optimizing it instead of adding new features. It was not as flexible or feature rich as it needed to be, to be the foundation of a modern search engine. We came close on a number of occasions to making a deal with Matt to develop it further, but every time he ended up disappearing. We will leave our version available for the foreseeable future, but our recommendation is clear – DO NOT USE IT – not ours, and especially not the original. Start somewhere else if you want to build a new search engine. Do not base your project on a one-man project, no matter how confidently it is “sold” to you.”August 2019
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