Twitter Not Blocking Wikileaks As A Trending Topic... But Won't Comment On Possibility Of Shutting Down Account

from the backbone? dept

There was a rumor going around that perhaps Twitter was censoring "wikileaks" as a trending topic. In response, Twitter has denied this, saying that it's simply untrue -- but at the same time the company has refused to comment on whether or not it will allow Wikileaks to keep its Twitter account. This may be interesting to follow. Joe Lieberman, of course, has been making the rounds telling US companies to stop supporting Wikileaks in any way -- leading companies like Amazon, Paypal, Tableau Software, EveryDNS and some others to stop hosting content and/or working with Wikileaks in any way. Yet, during all of this time, Wikileaks has continued to use its Twitter account to communicate with the world. In fact, it's been that Twitter account that has kept many people abreast of how Wikileaks is responding to each censorship attempt. So, it raises the obvious questions: how long until Lieberman or others in the US government start putting pressure on Twitter and how will Twitter respond? I can understand why they're saying no comment now, but they'd better have an answer ready soon, because it's hard not to predict that this question will start to get a lot more attention quickly. It would be nice for Twitter to stand up for free speech rights, rather than cave to political pressure. Hopefully it will do so.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    So, everyone make a break for if they do revoke @wikileaks?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Nick Taylor, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    I simply don't believe they're not censoring the trending topics.

    If you do a search for any trending topic, then do a search for wikileaks.... the "new tweets" pile up way faster for wikileaks.

    But... twitter has become vital infrastructure... like DNS and money. If the forces of old and evil try to cut these off then we have no alternative than to start using P2P versions.


    And let's just remind ourselves what this is about - Wikileaks has brought into daylight the fact that democratic governments are routinely lying to their electorates.

    This isn't good enough. If Authority isn't accountable, it's illegitimate... and accountability is impossible without transparency.

    It is not wikileaks that is breaking the law here. It is the US government... and other governments.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    freak, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Of course, Joe Lieberman 'hasn't been making any calls to companies'. They've censored wikileaks 'all on their own'. 'Without any pressure from any source', especially not the US gov't or members of it.

    Sarcasm aside, has there been any definitive evidence of such pressure? I hate claiming something without proof, especially if I think i know it to be true. I did study as a mathematician for a while, after all . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    DCL, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 4:00pm


    Search your feelings... you know it to be true...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Freak, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, I could also see these companies being afraid of *potential* pressure, and thus pre-buckling.

    So, my opinion of them could very well be changed by knowledge of the nature of pressure they were placed under.

    And if no pressure was, or could be applied, well, taht would really change my opinion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Haywood (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 4:09pm

    This will make a good movie some day

    All the behind the scenes activity, collusion, & conspiracy. Might I suggest Oliver Stone.
    He needs to hurry, don't forget the world ends in 2012.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Jeremy Ryans, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 4:22pm


    Nothing will slow down Twitter's momentum, not even their own idiocy. They're getting so big that there is an entire economy based around buying Twitter fans on sites like GetMorePopular. However, I think it would be a real shame if a site that almost helped overthrow one corrupt government in the Iranian Revolution would also sheepishly follow the pressures of another corrupt government and alter their algorithm to hide the word "WikiLeaks" from public view.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 5:25pm

    Re: This will make a good movie some day

    Good idea. I should call Julian Assange and see if I can buy the rights. Anyone know where to reach him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Eugene (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 5:25pm

    The interesting thing is that what Joe Lieberman is doing is exactly what Wikileaks *wants* to have happen. After reading some interviews and essays by Julian Assange, I've found that he's made it quite clear that he sees the increase of closed systems and conspiracy to be a good thing, because those things - in his opinion - are the primary cause of degradation within organized systems. The more closed and secretive a group is, the more inefficient they become in his assessment, until they either collapse - or right themselves for the better.

    So as far as they're concerned, the U.S. blocking their site is a step in the right direction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Aerilus, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:51pm

    What will be really interesting is to see googles response. one would hope it is a direct go to hell otherwise the hypocrisy might break the internet but you never know. it has been interesting to watch cnn's post on this that started out reporting on the news then rapidly wen to condemning the leak along with the rest of main stream media. makes me wonder who called who on that one

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Yeebok (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 11:01pm

    If they block wikileaks I guess I ditch my twitter account ..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 12:04am

    Not really the place of for it, but I wanted to say that I have closed both my PayPal and Amazon accounts (making very sure to tell them exactly why) and will not use Woot! (Amazon owned) again either.

    Futile gesture? Maybe, but I will sleep a little better as a result.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 7th, 2010 @ 6:46am


    "Sarcasm aside, has there been any definitive evidence of such pressure? I hate claiming something without proof, especially if I think i know it to be true. "

    don't worry the proof will be on wikileaks very soon ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Johnny, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 6:48am

    Not futile, but a small gesture from one person - if we all doo this it adds up. I have closed my Amazon account too and will be closing my Paypal account soon.

    Paypal isn't really trustworthy anyway, the web abounds with complaints from people who suddenly found their accounts frozen for no reason. It just seems wise to stay clear of Paypal anyway. Their treatment of Wikileaks just underscores all these problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    TDR, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 9:12am

    I've never used Twitter much but I hope they'll resist the pressure. And to those trying to push this on them, they can just quote Spock:

    "If I were human, I believe my response would be, 'Go to hell.' If I were human."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Seshan (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 3:37am

    This should be updated. Twitter is blocking wikileaks as a trending topic. It gets way more updates then other trending topics.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    Proffer (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 5:11am


    Twitter's gonna cave.

    Twitter's services are hosted on Amazon's EC2 (or AWS).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    UK-Girl, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 11:01am

    Lets back wiki

    Well today I read anyone that wants to download porn in the UK will need to opt out of ISP's blocking these sites and next we will need to opt out just so we can read a site like this one where people are able to express themselves and are able to say a word against the powers that be.

    Also read today about a 12 year old school boy in the UK was arrested at school because he posted on facebook to ask people to join him in a demonstration against his youth club being closed down but this should come as no surprise since the UK police want to stop all student protests when university fees rise by 300% and god know how many more will be murdered like Ian Tomlinson before the year is out.

    12 people where arrested today on charges of being terrorists but as usual none will be charged because our policemen are making it up as they go along to keep themselves in overtime.

    Google ‘Holly Greig’ if you want to see how members of the justice system are able to rape a little girl and despite a million people knowing about the case are still able to block the investigation and silence the defence lawyer.

    If you come to the UK then don't take pictures at the airports else the police will smash your face in and take your camera because we are all terrorists now.

    Go wikileaks the people are behind you and it's so bad in the UK that even Iran has reported to UK to the UN for the violations committed against the British public.

    Wake up people and stop acting like cowards for today they come for me but tomorrow it will be you!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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