Twitter Accused Of Censoring Wikileaks

Twitter has been accused of censoring Wikileaks hashtags, according to TechEye, researcher Bob Murphy found through independent tracking that the hashtag was “on average, it is nearly 3 times as popular as any of the other terms” but not showing in the Twitter Trending topics.

Murphy’s research was done using Trendistic and showed discrepancies with what was being shown in Twitter. Questions about the disparities were also voiced by a Student Activism blog.

Twitter Communication Director Matt Graves explained why there was no censorship while giving some insight into how Trend topics are placed:

“Twitter is not censoring #wikileaks, #cablegate or other related terms from the Trends list of trending topics.

Our Trends list is designed to help people discover the ‘most breaking’ breaking news from across the world, in real-time. The list is generated by an algorithm that identifies topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously.

There’s a number of factors that may come into play when seemingly popular terms don’t make the Trends list. Sometimes topics that are popular don’t break into the Trends list because the current velocity of conversation (volume of Tweets at a given moment) isn’t greater than in previous hours and days. Sometimes topics that are genuinely popular simply aren’t widespread enough to make the list of top Trends. And, on occasion, topics just aren’t as popular as people believe.”

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