Is it possible to protect public sources? Can it be ethical not to cite public sources?

When I blogged about Occupy Gezi: Archaeologists at Gezi Park, Archaeologists on the Barricades, the Turkish state was persecuting (social) media users, so I translated and shared their material online, archived their original material offline and marked their sources as “(P)” – protected. But now I’m working on publishing it “properly”.

I want to credit my sources, but I don’t want to put them at risk or to prevent them from reducing their risk, and the state is still persecuting them. Turkey is prosecuting social media users, including people who shared the contact details of volunteer emergency medical workers (as well as, inevitably, the doctors and nurses themselves for providing emergency treatment).

Some activists have deleted tweets, blog posts or accounts that could be used against them. Should they be treated as offline sources, with full bibliographical references (and, thus, identifications), or as confidential informants?

And what about stuff that’s still online? It’s been left visible, so should it be cited fully, unequivocally? What happens if sources decide to delete material in the future? At the moment, my least worst compromise is to share the original-language statements as well as the translations, so that sources are not identified, but they can be traced as long as they choose to be traceable…

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