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Is Twitter Censoring Wikileaks Trends?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the or-just-sick-of-it dept.

Censorship 191

comforteagle writes "There are suspicions coming to the surface this morning that Twitter may be censoring WikiLeaks-related tweets from forming a trending topic. Why is still unclear at this point, as during Iranian protests a short while ago Twitter appeared to be in the fray of helping to spread the word. As of this morning it appears that Twitter may have some explaining to do. One of Twitter's engineers has chimed in over the weekend, but some aren't convinced."

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191 comments

Friday Was the Hot Day (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459396)

For Wikileaks trending. You can see here [trendistic.com] that Wikileaks was hot on Friday, not Sunday. Google Trends (for Google searches, not Tweets) actually heavily corresponds to this [google.com]. Further more, if you look at Google Trends, you'll note that the recent trending on Friday wasn't even half of what it peaked at during the Afghan war cable release. It might even be less than that edited journalist shooting video. After checking Google trends for Sunday, "wikileaks" wasn't in the top twenty. I'm checking other Twitter harvesting sites for trends and not seeing anything that would indicate that Sunday should have been a huge day for Wikileaks on Twitter.

By no means conclusive evidence one way or the other though.

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (5, Informative)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459478)

The piece specifically talks about comparisons. All of the other idiotic nonsense that did trend didn't compare in level to #wikileaks. The direct link to one of the vastly more interesting ones, imo:

http://bubbloy.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/twitter-is-censoring-the-discussion-of-wikileaks/ [wordpress.com]

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460014)

No, it's just that all you WikiLeaks fanboys refuse to acknowledge the true popularity of #mycatissooocute and #whatihadforbreakfast

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460056)

it's just that twitter very badly needs renaming TWATTER cus it's full o TWATS

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460134)

As opposed to full of TWITS?

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (5, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460190)

And if you bother to read the comments posted to the link you provided, not to mention twitter's own response, you'll easily see the only story here is that people are delusional in falsely believing that twitter is censoring anything. Its a fact which google's statistics as well as the sites which the linked article even validate.

So really the only story here is that people are going out of their way to create a story about the fact there isn't a story to be created. So in short of that, the new story is one of conspiracy which never existed in the first place while trying to hide the fact there never was a story.

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460584)

I submitted [slashdot.org] the same story, but included your link as well as the one from Student Activism [studentactivism.net] instead of the submitter's link. (Better to use the source material rather than make the /, posting a summary leading to a summary IMO). (I don't particularly care about getting my name up as the submitter (I've submitted a total of 6 stories ever, only one of which has been approved), but I wish they had used the sources instead.)

I read over everything in the source pages and honestly it's rather difficult to say whether or not the whole thing is being caused by some active effort on Twitter's part. There's the genuine possibility that the algorithm somehow didn't think #wikileaks was a viable candidate for trending. However, my gut feeling tells me that it was an active participation in censorship on Twitter's part; it would be relatively simple for them to predict #wikileaks and put in counter-measures to ensure that it doesn't trend, but it would be more difficult to predict a term that was created relatively quickly like #cablegate.

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (5, Insightful)

horigath (649078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460620)

The comparisons on the blog are flawed.

The main example is that of "Inception" which the author cries trended for an extended period. However the example is almost totally wrong.

[Inception] managed to trend essentially uninterrupted from August 8 to August 26. During this stretch, the popularity of the phrase generally fell except for a significant spike around August 17th. It seems strange that Twitter’s algorithm would identify something to be trending in the midst of the sustained fall.

However, the data in fact shows Inception Trending almost uninterrupted from July 13 into early August. By August 8th, when he thinks it is constant, it is becoming less and less regular and by the end of his "essentially uninterrupted" period it is trending less than 50% of the time. On August 26th it was only on the list for a half hour!

The author then points out that #wikileaks hasn't trended, giving the figures to show that it hasn't showed up since July and August. Then of course, he mentions that #cablegate has in fact been trending since then, but avoids mentioning the full details. Given that Twitter tries to consolidate similar tags it seems pretty reasonable that #cablegate was just selected either automatically or manually as the "face" of the leaks on twitter. It trended on the days when news was exploding and discussion was increasing, rather than decreasing (although the author doesn't say how long these trends lasted and given his total misreading of the previous figures it's easy to suspect that it actually trended longer). That's how it's meant to work.

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (3, Insightful)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459558)

Good observation. This tempest sounds like a few people, with enough connections to news people, are convinced that the rest of the world *must* be as interested in this topic as they are. With that as their premise, they conclude Twitter is 'cheating.'

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460048)

This tempest sounds like a few people, with enough connections to news people, are convinced that the rest of the world *must* be as interested in this topic as they are. With that as their premise, they conclude Twitter is 'cheating.'

Wishful thinking that people would be more interested in international corruption than, say, the european music awards. [twitter.com]

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460140)

Good observation. This tempest sounds like a few people, with enough connections to news people, are convinced that the rest of the world *must* be as interested in this topic as they are. With that as their premise, they conclude Twitter is 'cheating.'

I believe the more simplified term to describe the people you are talking about would be "tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorists". "zomg the world doesn't work the way I KNOW it works, and I'm really really really smart, so IT MUST BE CONSPIRACY EVERYONE OUT TO GET WIKILEAKS FIGHT TEH POWER"

Re:Friday Was the Hot Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459754)

If you look closely at your link tho, on Sunday #wikileaks, while it may have been less popular than it was on Friday, still recorded a higher percentage of traffic than #sunday did on sunday...

Not the first time (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459426)

I can't recall what it was, but Scienceblogs was atwitter with claims that Twitter was censoring a science/religion/something event that was being discussed. It turns out that (shock) people just weren't talking about it as incredibly frequently as they had been when it started trending.

Hanlon's razor (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459428)

Maybe the type of persons which like to tweet, are short attention spanned twit which are not interested in complex long running news like wiki leaks, but on what DJ hammer took on breakfast. Thus it not appearing in the trends, as the person concerned with it are a minority. I have only anecdotal evidence for it, but I work in IT, with a high percentage of nerd, and all looked at me with big eye when I mentioned wiki leaks last week, and today they just shrugged. The average sheep DO NOT CARE.

Re:Hanlon's razor (2)

DemonicMember (1557097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459906)

I love that look, like wtf are you talking about...I get it all the time where I work. Average Joe and Average Jane don't even know what wikileaks is half the time

Re:Hanlon's razor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460052)

Sure. Meanwhile, you (yes, you specifically) couldn't name a single bill that passed legislature last week (inside whichever country you're from; or to make it easier, the U.S. Congress). It's refreshing to learn that not everyone shares your interests, nor should they, even in matters you think are important but which actually aren't.

Re:Hanlon's razor (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460710)

You've got a point. Potential government corruption isn't important at all, especially for that government's citizens. Television shows and shopping are far more important!

Re:Hanlon's razor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460318)

"Maybe the type of persons which like to tweet, are short attention spanned twit ..."

The word you're looking for is Twat.

Re:Hanlon's razor (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460518)

True but what's to care about? Are there any serious revelations in the latest leaks? The Russians are mobsters, the US spies on everyone, China talks out the side of it's neck regarding NK, Arab nations are constantly back stabbing each other in power plays, Saudi Arabia is basically a puppet state for the US intelligence community, etc. It basically just confirms what everyone suspected - that our leaders really do read The Prince.

Justin Bieber (4, Funny)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459436)

Perhaps that so many people are talking about wikileaks, it has stopped trending. Just like what was required for Justin Bieber.

Re:Justin Bieber (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459500)

Yup, trending is apparently based on the growth of a word's usage, not an overall total. So if something is hot, but not growing, it ceases to be classified as trending. A bit odd, but they probably have their reasons behind it. No doubt to stop craptastic celeb' gaming of their system.

Sounds like conspiracy theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459440)

So now every time someone gets cold fries in their happy meal, it's going to be part of a big government conspiracy to stop freedom loving nerds from wiki leaking.

Maybe the wikileaks are overhyped and dull, and Justin Bieber really is more interesting to the world population?

Re:Sounds like conspiracy theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459674)

"freedom loving nerds"

You say "Freedom loving" like it's a bad thing.

Come on Twitter empoyees, you know where to leak! (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459472)

If there is this kind of heavy handed crap going on at companies we are supposed to trust, we all know where to send the evidence. I know that not everyone agrees, but somehow I feel better in the world knowing that Wikileaks is on call, doing its thing.

Why would you say that? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460168)

If there is this kind of heavy handed crap going on at companies we are supposed to trust, we all know where to send the evidence. I know that not everyone agrees, but somehow I feel better in the world knowing that Wikileaks is on call, doing its thing.

You are going to have them thinking you are a Wikileaks supporter. Then their heavy handed tactics will be directed at you.

No I don't think anyone wants to mess with the government. If you had any idea of just how heavy the tactics are...

Read the article [nowpublic.com]

Maybe no one actually cares anymore (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459482)

It is entirely possible that most people don't give a flying fuck and censorship has nothing to do with it.

When Wikileaks releases something that actually is newsworthy rather than rather than being the worlds drama queen, then people might care, but so far all we have is wikileaks telling us their going to change the world with their NEXT release ... after every dribbling bits of 'leaks' the let slip out.

It also might help if they started to release things that were pretty much verbatim copies of what you can get via a Freedom of Information Act request.

The only people who care about Wikileaks are irrational people who want to rage against the machine and 'change the world'. Hell, even the majority of people that work with wikileaks think Assange is turning it into something of an utterly retarded step child

After you cry wolf several times, people stop giving a shit.

Re:Maybe no one actually cares anymore (3, Insightful)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459628)

When Wikileaks releases something that actually is newsworthy rather than rather than being the worlds drama queen, then people might care, but so far all we have is wikileaks telling us their going to change the world with their NEXT release

Yeah, there is nothing newsworthy about the kidnappings, torture, deaths, coverups and treaty violations found in the latest release. No one cares about those things, they're just being drama queens.

Links to the things mentioned above can be found on this post:

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1896026&cid=34443616 [slashdot.org]

Re:Maybe no one actually cares anymore (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459832)

The cable leaks have almost no worthy information. They don't show cover-ups, torture or anything else we didn't already know about. It's the equivalent on getting caught passing a note at primary school.

The Yanks have little to worry about.

Re:Maybe no one actually cares anymore (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460268)

This sentence no verb.

A group of dictionary-writers were arguing about what to put into the next dictionary. With the recent creation [yahoo.com] of new verbs, by celebrities, like the verb "refudiate", the linguists were in a deep dilemma. Do they recognize made-up words? Do they banish such words from the dictionary, which is supposed to represent proper English? So they broke into groups to come up with recommendations.

After lunch, a spokesman from each group stood up, and made a recommendation. Here's what happened next:

First Spokesman: "Our group recommends that we sentence such verbs to a 5-year banishment from the official publication."
Second Spokesman: "And our group sentences no new verbs to banishment."
Question from the audience: "Which recommends no sentencing?"
Second Spokesman, pointing to his group: "This sentence no verb."

sentence: –verb (used with object) to pronounce sentence upon; condemn to punishment.

Re:Maybe no one actually cares anymore (2, Insightful)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459692)

If its so , blehhh.... then why are major leaders and govt people so upset and angry!?
Maybe if americans got of their ass, and looked at NONE usa websites, like UK ones they might learn something apart from
the lies that DoD corporates dish out (aka GE/NBC & friends)

Do you really have to ask "why?" (-1, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459486)

Twitter, like Google, has been close to Obama. Wikileaks is making the Obama Administration (especially Hillary Clinton) look really bad both through the release of what was in those cables and their inability to "deal with" Wikileaks.

This is only slightly less retarded than asking why the mainstream media tends to run interference for Democrats, spinning everything they do in a positive light even if it's something that would have a Republican hanging from a cross on capitol hill.

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459552)

inability to "deal with" Wikileaks.

Or maybe they recognize that the whole thing, while major, is being overblown while there are other, vastly more pressing issues with a major branch of government to deal with (I won't say which one, but it begins with an L and makes sausage factories look bad).

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459788)

Mainstream media is really nice to Dems now b/c they're in power, just like they were so nice to Bush, and especially to Palin, avoiding any nasty unwanted questions about civilian deaths or torture or breaking the Geneva convention or lying about -- well, everything....

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (1, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459980)

just like they were so nice to Bush,

You know I have trouble telling if you are being sarcastic, or if you truly believe that, but you appear to actualy believe that the mainstream press was nice to Bush. The press continuously played up every accusation against Bush. The mainstream press was talking about how bad the economy was when unemployment was 4.8%. Now that unemployment is 9.8%, they are constantly talking about how the economy is doing wonderful, it's just those "unexpectedly" high unemployment numbers that we need to worry about.

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (5, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459884)

Posts like yours are somewhat frustrating because it fuels other paranoid people into believing that conspiracy is everywhere, when in fact, its nothing but self delusion fueled by others of a like-minded delusion. Much like moon landing conspiracies, there is absolutely no reason to give them anything other than a cursory glance.

You're suggesting that Google and Twitter are part of a massive conspiracy to hide a leak of material which largely, everyone who reads, already knows. Obviously, there are some exceptions, but those exceptions largely only serve to fill in detail and cause governmental chaos. Furthermore, you are suggesting that twitter is purposely censoring while Google is not only censoring but reformulating statistical modules to not only up hold the conspiracy, but but to ensure the results match that of twitter.

Which is more likely? People are just not that interested in reading about fairly well known information, which they are already not interested in reading day to day? Or that there is some massive conspiracy involving all of the world's governments and companies, both large and small?

Exactly. If these feelings persist in other facets of your life, medication might be worth reviewing with your doctors.

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (1)

Rutefoot (1338385) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460614)

Conspiracy theories in my mind always come down to two basic questions: How many people would would need to be in the know in order to pull off such a large scale deception? And how much do you trust those people to stay silent about the conspiracy?

Let's put it this way: Top secret documents accessible by people with reasonably high security clearance are now making their rounds around the web and news media. Do you really think nobody is going to think twice about involving potentially thousands of employees in covering up secrets when clearly it can't work for some of the most classified documents in the world?

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (3, Interesting)

rchh (658159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459956)

Twitter, like Google, has been close to Obama. [Citation Needed] Please refrain from saying something like this without actually backing it up.

You want a reference? (-1, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460228)

Do a Google search. A decent looking search result shows up on the first page for "Obama Twitter connections."

Unless you are citing a specific study, in this day and age of good search engines, demanding "citations" for general topics is a form of trolling. It says "I'm too fucky lazy to do a 5 sec Google search."

Re:You want a reference? (2, Insightful)

rchh (658159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460306)

Actually I did. And I did not find ANY reliable and trustworthy link between the two. Between somebody who makes grandiose claims and somebody who asks some proof of the claims, who is the bigger troll?

Re:You want a reference? (4, Insightful)

speroni (1258316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460506)

It would seem to me the burden of evidence rests with the person making the claim.

Re:You want a reference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460540)

Seriously. Go get some meds, you're fucking nuts.

You must be watching a different Fox News (-1, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460002)

Or is Fox News not mainstream?

Since when does Glen Beck run interference for the Democrats?

I bet you are a teabagger, you got their talent for twisting the universe.

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460030)

Twitter, like Google, has been close to Obama.

Are you... joking? I honestly can't tell.

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460076)

What a crock of shit!

Re:Do you really have to ask "why?" (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460124)

I'm amazed you found virgin ground between the old line of "The media has a liberal bias (because we've always said they have a liberal bias)" and "Reality has a well known liberal bias."

Sorry to spoil your fun, but I'm going to say that in fact, twitter has a well known conservative bias. For example, whose tweets are the only tweets that the media actually pays attention to? Sarah Palin.

The obvious solution... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459504)

Obviously, everybody should just obsessively tweet #heilwhale until the problem resolves itself.

Extra credit will, naturally, be awarded for terrifying photochops of the failwhale with Chertoff's skull-like face...

God dammit (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459520)

This is all so fucked up, we should all go back to basic internet principles. The internet should not be used for anything other than porn.

Re:God dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459766)

This is all so fucked up, we should all go back to basic internet principles. The internet should not be used for anything other than porn.

I second this

Re:God dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459776)

Of course that's the rulers dream, feeding ignorance and blind nationalism/patriatism, keeping the people distracted and entertained with basic matters and useless gossip from some useless public figures. Im not interested in kardashians, britneys *insert random "popular" figure here* sex tape or related.

I do not want an internet just for that. It didn't do any good for the television networks, one of many reasons why people turned away from it towards the internet, and acts and treaties keep being negotiated behind closed secrecy away from the public knowledge in order to persuit and protect the interests of the powers that rule. Or should i say, enslave by advanced means, where your given enough to barely survive and kept away from becoming a possible nuisance or threat.

Re:God dammit (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460118)

I agree that television and facebook are the modern "circus", but perhaps it's because of my age: at some point you just realize it will never stop. Even if the "glorious revolution" were to happen, it all turns to shit again within a couple generations and sometimes sooner.

Re:God dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460138)

and games

More links to details (3, Interesting)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459522)

According to one of the commenters, this may be a result of adjusting the algorithms to git rid of endless "Bieber" related trends.

At what price Bieber Freedom?

If a forest of trees fall, but no one can report it, did it really happen?

Re:More links to details (2)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459854)

And did it fall on Bieber? Please say it did. ...

Actually, it'd need to be a huge tree to take out all of his fans as well, so that we didn't end up with a "oh noes, teh Bieber is dead" flood instead!

I'm amazed (5, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459530)

I am amazed at how many fronts have been opened against wikileaks in the past few weeks. Clearly, there are people who want it crushed, but I can't recall ever seeing the number and variety of attacks against another "thorn in the side" as we're seeing against wikileaks.

The takeaway lesson: those who try to learn the truth and spread the truth will be destroyed.

Are you naive? Cyberwarfare is dirty. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460110)

There will be unlimited fronts opened up against Wikileaks and their supporters. Vigilantes around the world will be involved in shutting Wikileaks down and in stopping the individuals associated with it.

How did the USA respond after the 911 attacks?

How do you think the USA will respond after the cyber 911?

The Cyber Command probably has been waiting for this moment for a while now.

Re:I'm amazed (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460166)

God people on Slashdot are paranoid.

Or maybe... just maybe... not enough people are tweeting about it? Did that extremely simple, common-sense, explanation ever occur to you?

Not censoring, just not helping. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459536)

So let us see how this appears to be working out

The American government is looking very poor to the rest of the world as comments which should never have been made public are out in the open.

The American government can make it very difficult for companies, not say cutting off accounts etc, but reducing their lobying power, not providing the same level of overseas visas etc, perhaps even asking for other investigations (something tax related) which will come to nothing but none of them want the light shined in that direction.

So, apart from a few 'headlines' the urge to ask content aggregators to 'not help' certain topics has been happening. In almost all cases of 'trends' it generally needs a helping hand, just as print newspapers, listing in top 5/10 'most viewed'.

This is not a conspiracy, but plain and simple politics.

Anon

Latest Wikileak (2)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459568)

I think they were being censored, but it is hard to tell for certain.

Anyway, the latest Wikileak states that there is going to be a huge scandal and uproar about the ne

No they aren't (4, Informative)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459572)

Blame Justin Bieber

What happened was... all the JB fans were skewing the trending topics by tweeting about him all the time.

So twitter changed TTs from being a measure of amount to a measure of growth (or derivative)

And I think wikileaks grew slower, hence no TTs.

Re:No they aren't (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460602)

And as people are aware, I'm a huge fan of JB

Why is everything a conspiracy? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459590)

Why is it that for some, every time something negative happens for Wikileaks, there must be a conspiracy that is behind it.
1. When the first accusations were leverage against Assange for rape; many were screaming that the CIA was behind it.
2. When Amazon stop hosting Wikileaks, the government MUST HAVE been behind it.
3. When Paypal froze Wikileak's account, more government pressure.
And now this. Could it have occurred to those people that the US government isn't behind every one of those things?

Re:Why is everything a conspiracy? (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459872)

"And now this. Could it have occurred to those people that the US government isn't behind every one of those things?"

Nope; this is slashdot. Very little critical thinking, but a lot of fanaticism. Many of the people here can't get their tinfoil wrapped heads around the concept of Occam's Razor.

Re:Why is everything a conspiracy? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460096)

Well, a US government official (a Senator I believe) and a Canadian government official has called for the murder of the chief editor of Wikileaks.

That is a fact, published in well known publications.

That is not a conspiracy theory.

Re:Why is everything a conspiracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460282)

If you think a U.S. Senator making a death threat is either unusual or among the worst things that have been said, then you haven't been paying attention to politics for very long. Many of the members in our congress would be diagnosed insane by a shrink provided his identity had been unknown.

Re:Why is everything a conspiracy? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460194)

Exactly. The government is competent enough to arrange false charges against Assange in Sweden to discredit him, gets companies to drop hosting or other support of Wikileaks, and may even have people out there looking for Assange to kidnap him rendition-style. And yet it's not competent enough to keeps these leaks from coming out in the first place. All the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory.

Re:Why is everything a conspiracy? (3, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460392)

You don't need to be competent to try and bully people. Quite the opposite, in fact. By contrast, keeping secret things secret (and deciding in a cogent manner what should be secret) does require competence.

Re:Why is everything a conspiracy? (1)

Headw1nd (829599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460488)

Why is it that for some, every time something negative happens for Wikileaks, there must be a conspiracy that is behind it. 1. When the first accusations were leverage against Assange for rape; many were screaming that the CIA was behind it. 2. When Amazon stop hosting Wikileaks, the government MUST HAVE been behind it. 3. When Paypal froze Wikileak's account, more government pressure. And now this. Could it have occurred to those people that the US government isn't behind every one of those things?

I know, right? Next week when Assange dies in a car crash, they'll probably blame that on a conspiracy too.

In the land of the free (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459614)

..... ehh never mind. forget it.

Freedom costs (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459844)

If you can't afford it you wont have it. Julian Assange is not promoting freedom, the response from the government to this cyber911 will be to crack down on all of our freedoms. Julian Assange is ruining it for us all.

Re:Freedom costs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459926)

There's always an excuse for censorship. When Cuba jails a dissident, don't you think they have an excuse that rhymes with "National Security"? They call them anti-revolutionaries over there -- the equivalent of anti-american.

The US doesn't have any moral ground to criticize censorship in other countries from now on, and I really don't want to hear any of it again.

oh geee (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460290)

so you are saying that, if assange didnt use the freedom, noone would censor it ?

oh gee. i didnt think it that way ! so, its ok as long as we dont use our freedoms - we wont risk losing them !!!

Wikileaks supporters, beware of the vigilantes. (1, Informative)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459816)

What is a target of opportunity?

The website describes it:

"This website is devoted to fighting Terrorism and forced integration of Marxist oriented ideals and values into the American mainstream.

http://www.targetofopportunity.com/ [targetofopportunity.com]

It's about to get really dirty.
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america [nowpublic.com]

Re:Wikileaks supporters, beware of the vigilantes. (3, Interesting)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459938)

Which 'way of life' is "*THE* American" one?

The top 2% of the American population that control 90% of the wealth?

Or the bottom 50% who have zero assets?

This whole thing is hilarious.

Its almost as if one can see a prequel of Snowcrash playing out in real life!

Franchise America will be here soon :) Cognitive dissonance can, in others, be highly entertaining.

CNN: US officials deny harming wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459862)

Re:CNN: US officials deny harming wikileaks (2)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459928)

Washington (CNN) -- U.S. officials at the Pentagon and State Department denied Friday knowing of any efforts to take down the WikiLeaks website or asking companies to do so, and added "Please don't ask me that question again", whilst furtively looking over their shoulders.

how he leaks it (1)

Max_W (812974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34459910)

39-year-old Australian supplied the Metropolitan Police with contact details upon arriving in the UK in October. Police sources confirmed that they have a telephone number for Mr Assange and are fully aware of where he is staying.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/wikileaks-chief-what-will-he-do-next-2148813.html [independent.co.uk]

I do not understand how he can leak information if the authorities know where he sits? Cannot they use the Echelon or NSA to block or modify his traffic?

Re:how he leaks it (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460038)

HE is not leaking anything. The organization he nominally heads is. He could be arrested five minutes from now, and the leaking wouldn't be affected. You can't succeed by depending solely on one CEO-esque figure.

starting to get a little worried (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459932)

You know this is the reaction that I would expect. There is always a deal to be made. Its a lot easier for these sites to duck and cover instead of making a stand. I don't really blame them, but I do blame us collectively. We are standing by while the future turns into 1984. Truth is most people are too ignorant/preoccupied to realize or care. I'm becoming sooo pessimistic about the future of online rights. Here is what I think will happen:
All online activity is tracked and retained - just like speed cameras always watching so that in the end you get fined
We will all be forced to run some kinda spy program (think the warden from WoW) in order to be connected to the internet - you can try to fool it and you might get away with it for awhile but it'll get you eventually
Won't be long and there will be cameras that can identify you based on your facial features and the way you walk - these records will be retained for your safety
Before long most of these services will be privatized if they weren't from the start to save money and increase efficiency
The data will then no longer be collected by the government but a private agency - kinda like your phone/internet/mail/parking meters - and thus are under a completely different set of rules then a government run agency and those rules can be changed at any time for any reason. When at&t makes sure that their network routes US calls through non-US territory where the nsa intercepts them this doesn't apparently break the word of the law - but you've murdered the spirit. Fourth amendment free areas are popping up everywhere! Apparently it doesn't break the law if you can make good cause for it. Think DUI checkpoints. Border Patrol Checkpoints up to what like 50 miles from the border? Am I going crazy or does all this sound like bad things that are more then likely going to happen? Maybe there is a support group for people like me? A forum perhaps?

Is wikileak a top topic? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34459962)

This is the twitter topic data-plot from yesterday, courtesy of bubloy
http://bubbloy.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/trending.jpg?w=640&h=224

Yesterday, wikileaks has 7 times as much traffic as the second most popular topic.

Re:Is wikileak a top topic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460278)

That graph looks like it plots total volume, not trending. It is my understanding that trending should plot changes in volume, not total volume.
Do you have a link directly to twitter, so we can check out the parameters of this graph?

Why Only One Twitter? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460108)

By this time in Twitter's huge rise, previous services like IM had already spawned several competing networks inspired by the original pioneer. Twitter is even easier to duplicate. How come Twitter still has a monopoly on the service? After a few years of millions of people using it, the "Twitter" protocol should be either standard or have big gateways for other networks of users to all intercommunicate with it.

I'm surprised Google doesn't offer a competitor, or Yahoo, or Microsoft, or Disney.

Twitter should distance itself from Assange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460218)

If my company had any connection with Assange, I would sever all ties and distance myself, and my company, from him.

Anyone guilty of or under investigation of violating the U.S. 1917 Espionage Act would not be good to associate with.

Who gives a shit? (2)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460238)

Seriously. Twitter is a company and will censor shit as all communication/media companies do from time to time. Twitter isn't "the voice of the people" or any shit like that. It is an inane website for mostly inane people to display their inanity in 140 characters and track the other inane peoples reactions. The only thing Twitter added to the systems that came before it was easy mobile access and popularity tracking, and no one actually seems to use the mobile version any more.

It is killing me that our already dumb society is trying to dumb itself down to thoughts that can fit in 140 characters.

P.S. Someone should invent a social media symbolic language. I bet you could cover the majority of posts with very few symbols.

That’s not censorship. (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460322)

You would expect the trends to generally reflect the highest-profile topics, true enough. If they don’t, though, that isn’t censorship. They’re like a news network. You expect them to tell you what’s hot. They don’t always. It’s certainly a bias, but it isn’t censorship.

Censorship would be telling you that you can’t post that Twitter update because you tagged it #wikileaks.

Censorship would be mysteriously long page loads and 404 errors on feeds of users who posted wikileaks-related tweets.

Censorship would be banning users who posted about wikileaks.

Yet another wikileaks discussion on /. ? (2)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460444)

Yes, another wikileaks discussion on /.

And it belongs on /.

For the last few years, things have been moving into the cloud. Somehow decentralized systems like irc have been replaced with centralized social media platforms. Nice cheap hosting and sharing services with some teeny, tiny clauses in their tos have become widely available.
Wikileaks is the perfect storm that tests just how much we can trust the life in the cloud.

Maybe RMS, that guy who looks and talks like Jesus was right all along.

Regarding the Iranian comparison (2)

sustik (90111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460464)

The summary mentions the role of twitter during the Iranian unrest following the election.

Let me point out the obvious:
* Twitter is a company based in the US. Iran is a non-friendly regime to the US.
* If there were a twitter equivalent based in Iran, you can be sure it would have been busy about the cable leaks.

Got it?
In general, pretending that the parallel with the Iranian incident has any merit can be thought of as a lame effort at sarcasm at best and to be ignorant/uneducated at worst.

Re:Regarding the Iranian comparison (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460702)

Wasn't the thing about the Iran incident was that most of the tweets (god, I really hate using that word) about it came from outside Iran? Most of the people inside Iran had bigger concerns like non-uniformed, irregular agents of the Iranian government taking pot-shots at people, mass arrests, kidnappings, and so on. Not to say it didn't help spread awareness of the issue. It was just being utilized outside of where it would have done the most good.

Wikileaks and Assange are corrupt too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34460522)

The former member of Wikileaks Board of Directors has criticism about Wikileaks:

http://cryptome.org/0001/wikileaks-funds.htm

It seems Assange is using funds to his own personal gain.

What I'm waiting is that Wikileaks leaks itself and:

1) Publishes use of (donated) funds and how much wikileaks profits when providing early access of documents to news corporations?
2) Publishes its own internal emails and name of its members.
3) Where is Sunshine Press/Wikileaks (foundation?) registered and where you can get accounting information?

It may be that Assange is in a process of transferring Wikileaks-funds to his own offshore (Swiss?) bank accounts..

 

Jesus Christ (5, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460578)

Twitter's trends are based off growth, not volume. This conspiracy shit is getting ridiculous. If this keeps up we're going to log into slashdot and see a story titled: "Assange orders extra hot Skim Vente Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks but given NON-SKIM MILK INSTEAD in Starbuck/Government conspiracy to SLOWLY KILL HIM!!!`1!"

Post it on wikileaks (2)

satuon (1822492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34460666)

> One of Twitter's engineers has chimed in over the weekend
This whistle-blower should post the evidence that twitter is censoring wikileaks on wikileaks.

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