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A whistleblower is someone in an organization who witnesses behavior by members that is either contrary to the mission of the organization, or threatening to the public interest, and who decides to speak out publicly about it. For instance, Jeffrey Wigand is a well-known whistleblower in the United States for his role in the Big Tobacco scandal, revealing that executives of the companies knew that cigarettes were addictive and that they added other carcinogenic ingredients to the cigarettes.

It is not uncommon for whistleblowers to be quickly fired from the organization. Official laws protecting whistleblowers exist in several countries. See the United States False Claims Law.

In 2002, the trio of whistleblowers who exposed Enron's corporate scandals were selected as Time's People of the Year.

See also: dissent, suppression of dissent

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