Twitter implemented its new algorithmic timeline in February, and since then, libertarians, anti-establishment dissidents and conservatives have all been waiting for the micro-blogging firm to interfere in the current U.S. election cycle. Now it seems there is clear evidence of that happening, says Breitbart.
Trump’s tweet disappears
Twitter appears to be censoring (at times) the fiery tweets by current Republican front-runner Donald Trump. At 3:04 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, a tweet was sent from Trump’s account, but it was not visible from his timeline, even when showing “Tweets and replies,” the website reports.
This tweet included a video in which Trump can be seen declaring that the “establishment and special interests are absolutely killing our country.” The tweet was publicly accessible yesterday via a direct link to it, suggesting neither Trump nor someone operating his account deleted it, the report says.
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A copy of the timeline (archive.is) taken before Breitbart’s post was published shows that the tweet is not appearing where it should be, i.e. between a tweet sent at 12:10 p.m. and one sent at 3:27 p.m. It is possible Twitter will reintroduce the tweet to the timeline to hide the manipulation, the report suggests.
Why is Twitter doing this?
Nearly two months ago, Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos predicted that Twitter would seek to interfere with the primary election process. Twitter’s head of news, elections and government served as a deputy chief of staff for a Democrat senator from Louisiana in 2008 and was a term member of the Council of Foreign Relations. This could have some connection with Trump’s tweet disappearing.
“A move to shadowban the tweets of the Republican front-runner would therefore not entirely be unexpected,” the website says.
On the other hand, Facebook, Twitter’s arch rival, has decided not to influence the election and has even made a public declaration regarding this. The social networking giant insists that it is a neutral platform.
“Voting is a core value of democracy and we believe that supporting civic participation is an important contribution we can make to the community,” the social networking giant said about its decision.
Like Twitter, Facebook also has an algorithmic timeline and has worked with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the past to remove anti-refugee comments from its site. As of now, there has not been any comment on Breitbat’s report by Twitter.