Change your synonyms for whistleblower.
  • Petitioning Merriam-Webster

This petition will be delivered to:


Change your synonyms for whistleblower.

    1. Petition by

      Whistleblower Insider - The Whistleblower Practice of Constantine Cannon

Whether it's protecting our troops by disclosing faulty body armor or exposing major financial crimes or reporting on serious risks to our health and public safety, whistleblowers are increasingly stepping forward on behalf of the public good.  Yet that old school-yard mentality of “nobody likes a snitch” persists.  It's high time for a change.

And there could be no better place to start this change than where the word is defined - the dictionary and thesaurus.  Of the thirty synonyms Merriam-Webster and use to describe whistleblowers, the vast majority of them are derogatory and paint whistleblowers as dishonest, disloyal and driven by unsavory motives.  Here is just a sampling: Betrayer; Bigmouth; Busybody; Fat Mouth; Fink; Gossip; Rat; Rumormonger; Snitch; Squealer; Stool Pigeon; Tattletale; and Troublemaker.  These online publications – which collectively boast 90 million monthly visitors – are perpetuating a negative stereotype of whistleblowers and contributing to their continued persecution and mistreatment.  That means fewer people coming forward to protect us when they see something wrong.

Please help us change this archaic, fallacious and downright shameful portrayal of whistleblowers.  Sign our petition to urge and Merriam-Webster to redraft their listings of whistleblower synonyms to more accurately reflect these brave and selfless souls who have risked so much to make this world a better, safer and more just place.  Please also click here to provide your suggestions for more appropriate synonyms, which we will update in the petition on a regular basis.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Damian Mckinnon BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
      • 28 days ago

      Abbott is a liar and an offence to our democratic system and our perception as a people is harmed every day he is in power.

    • suan rosset ELLENBROOK, AUSTRALIA
      • 28 days ago

      the criminals in politics should not be protected, those that report them by what ever means should not be punished

    • Alexis Mesa MIAMI, FL
      • 2 months ago

      Whistleblowers will keep all forms of corruption at bay. God bless America!

    • Reggie Huff ATLANTA, GA
      • 5 months ago

      May1997- 2014

      ⓱Years of Depression :( I'm still waiting for an Apology letter or phone call from USDOL or OSHA

    • Karen Doris Wright RIVERSIDE, CA
      • 6 months ago

      It is the practice and pattern of those doing wrong, particularly in positions of power such as in government office to bad mouth and demean, and to try to destroy the credibility of those who speak out against their wrong doings including blowing the whistle on the wrong doers, thereby becoming a whistleblower.

      I have witnessed citizens being targeted, called names, and action(s) to try to destroy the credibility of those who speak out such as here in Riverside CA speaking out at Riverside City Council meetings. Some believe that those who speak out are and have been targeted by the City such as by sending code enforcement to find some excuse to cite those who speak out against City Council actioins.

      I am horrified to learn that synonyms for whistleblower are such nasty and negative words.

      It reminds me of negative words or phrases Riverside Council folks, and local press reporters use to refer to any citizens who speak out against City Council actions which ARE NOT in the best interests of citizens.

      Merriam-Webster, and Thesaurus, if you truly use negative words to label those who are BRAVE enough to step up and let the general public know of wrongdoings, then Merriam-Webster and are in effect CONDONING the TARGETING and ATTACKS on individuals who expose wrongdoing in government.

      Please REMOVE those negative and hateful synonyms NOW from your definitions/etc of whistleblower.

      The City of Riverside has hidden some iitems under an unrelated item, not included clear labeling of what the subject matter of an item being passed involves, does not tell the public verbally about most items being passed, and simply says CONSENT CALENDAR, with a Council vote passing the items, never telling the public what was passed.

      Riverside Council knowing citizens wanted to rebut/comment on one initiative and were given a date specific to do so, then the City changed the comment date moving it a month or two forward without telling those who wanted to comment even though they were in the Council Chambers almost weekly. When they came forward to submit their comment on the date they were told, they were told it was too late. They said they published the change in the paper. But in my opinion this was an example of the deceit and dishonesty of the City of Riverside, which had a Council member backing the Initiative and they made the change, in my opinion, specifically to STOP citizens from telling the REAL story. In my opinion that initiative passed based on lies, distortions, misrepresentations and misstatements.

      It seems to becoming the practice and pattern of the City of Riverside to misstate or misrepresent what an initiative is about to push it through. At least that is my opinion


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