Even prior to removing Operation Payback’s Twitter account, Twitter has been accused of trying to squash the entire WikiLeaks topic. The tag “#wikileaks” hasn’t appeared to be trending on Twitter since August 26, a confusing date seeing as it has infiltrated international media with the onslaught of Cablegate.
In response to speculation that Twitter was purposefully censoring its Trending list, the site offered an explanation in its blog. “People are wondering about WikiLeaks, with some asking if Twitter has blocked #wikileaks, #cablegate or other related topics from appearing in the list of top Trends. The answer: absolutely not.” It goes on to say that it’s not necessarily how popular a topic is, but how much more popular it has become: “Twitter Trends are automatically generated by an algorithm that attempts to identify topics that are being talked about more right now than they previously were.” Basically, if users aren’t increasing the amount they tweet about a certain topic, it won’t become a trend.
From this statement, we’re led to believe that WikiLeaks simply hasn’t had an increased presence on Twitter. However, Mashable reports Trendistic found that since the end of November, tweets discussing WikiLeaks have considerably risen. We also took a look at Operation Payback and Cablegate, which has spiked in the last two days but also isn’t appearing on Twitter’s Top Trends list. Hashtag also showed a boost in interest concerning Operation Payback in the last few days.
It’s possible that Twitter works on a quicker timeline, and since the WikiLeaks drama starting escalating on the site around the end of last month, it might be too “old” to be a trend. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t we have seen it make the last back around November 28? According to Mashable’s source, “#wikileaks” hasn’t made the trending cut since late August.