A whistleblower is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization that is either private or public.

An organization or organisation is an entity comprising multiple people, such as an institution or an association, that has a collective goal and is linked to an external environment.

Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.

An aerodynamic whistle is a simple aerophone, an instrument which produces sound from a stream of gas, most commonly air.

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The information of alleged wrongdoing can be classified in many ways: violation of company policyher accusations to the attention of other people within the accused organization.

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Externally, a whistleblower can bring allegations to light by contacting a third party outside of an accused organization.


Whistleblowers can reach out to the media, government, law enforcement, or those who are concerned but also face stiff reprisal and retaliation from those who are accused or alleged of wrongdoing.

A reprisal is a limited and deliberate violation of international law to punish another sovereign state that has already broken them.

Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior.


Some third party groups offer protection to whistleblowers, but that protection can only go so far.


Whistleblowers face legal action, criminal charges, social stigma, and termination from any position, office, or job.


Two other classifications of whistleblowing are private and public.


The classifications relate to the type of organizations someone chooses to whistle-blow on: private sector, or public sector.

The private sector is the part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the State.

The public sector is the part of the economy concerned with providing various governmental services.


Both can have different results that depend on many factors.


However, whistleblowing in the public sector organization is more likely to result in federal felony charges and jail-time.


A whistleblower who chooses to accuse a private sector organization or agency is more likely to face termination and legal and civil charges.


Deeper questions and theories of whistleblowing and why people choose to do so can be studied through an ethical approach.


Whistleblowing is a topic of ongoing ethical debate.


Leading arguments in the ideological camp that whistleblowing is ethical maintain that whistleblowing is a form of civil disobedience, and aims to protect the public from government wrongdoing.


In the opposite camp, some see whistleblowing as unethical for breaching confidentiality, especially in industries that handle sensitive client or patient information.


Legal protection can also be granted to protect whistleblowers, but that protection is subject to many stipulations.


Hundreds of laws grant protection to whistleblowers, but stipulations can easily cloud that protection and leave whistleblowers vulnerable to retaliation and legal trouble.


However, the decision and action has become far more complicated with recent advancements in technology and communication.

Communication is the act of conveying intended meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.


Whistleblowers frequently face reprisal, sometimes at the hands of the organization or group they have accused, sometimes from related organizations, and sometimes under law.


Questions about the legitimacy of whistleblowing, the moral responsibility of whistleblowing, and the appraisal of the institutions of whistleblowing are part of the field of political ethics.

In philosophy, moral responsibility is the status of morally deserving praise, blame, reward, or punishment for an act or omission, in accordance with one's moral obligations.

Political ethics is the practice of making moral judgements about political action and political agents.

A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event.

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