Twitter temporarily suspended the infamous hacker (or hackers) known as Guccifer 2 on Saturday after a second dump of Democratic party files made it online.
The brief outage, noted by Wikileaks, led to cries of Twitter censorship — an accusation the company is already grappling with following the publication of a damning BuzzFeed report on the social network’s internal turmoil.
The most recent leak includes Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) files including a spreadsheet with the phone numbers and email addresses of congressional contacts, as well as a slew of internal memos.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 13, 2016
The cyberattack on the DCCC was reported late last month, alongside the Democratic National Campaign hack, files from which were provided to (and later leaked by) Wikileaks. Both incidents bore similar hallmarks, with the FBI stating that operatives from Russia may have been behind the attacks.
Guccifer 2, who had previously taken responsibility for the DNC hack via Twitter, leaked the cache of DCCC documents on his WordPress account on Friday. They were quickly removed by the publishing platform, however, on claims that they violated its private information policy. The hacker’s Twitter account may have been suspended for the same reason, as it often included links to the WordPress site.
Guccifer 2 tweeted on Saturday that the “major trove” of DCCC files would be supplied to Wikileaks; the post was then re-tweeted over 1,000 times. Additionally, a number of other Twitter accounts are already circulating screenshots of the leaked spreadsheets.
Guccifer 2’s Twitter account now looks to have been re-instated, although some users are crying foul by claiming that the tweets regarding the DCCC leak were deleted.
Despite rallying against censorship and advocating free speech, Twitter has stepped up its efforts to police its site. Last month, the platform took the bold step of blocking accounts that were tweeting abuse to Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. Among the users that were permanently banned was Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor of the conservative news site Breitbart who had built a reputation as the ultimate Twitter troll.