A tweet by the Wikileaks Task Force revealing the intention of the disclosure organization to build a database of verified Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) users has sparked outrage. The tweet which has since then been deleted had proposed that personal details touching on matters such as financial status, career, residence and family relationships be included in the database.
“We are thinking of making an online database with all ‘verified’ twitter accounts & their family/job/financial/housing relationships,” the tweet read before it disappeared from the Wikileaks Task Force Twitter account.
High public profile
Among the users whose accounts are verified include activists, journalists, politicians, and showbiz personalities. This is because the service considers these accounts to be of public interest and therefore assigns them the blue check marks. Originally, the verification was devised as a measure against the proliferation of fake accounts which had been impersonating people with a high public profile.
In a follow-up tweet after the earlier controversial one, the task force of the organization whose main front is Julian Assange explained that the idea behind the database was to scrutinize the how the relationships that influenced were networked. To support its case, the task force said other organizations such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Wikipedia do the same as they create relationship graphs that were similar to what it was proposing. The organization denied any plans to publish such information.
Informing artificial intelligence software
Wikileaks also added that the aim of the database would primarily be informing its AI software. The organization also turned to Twitter users asking them to suggest ways the information could be used.
Following the development, a spokesperson from Twitter made it clear in an email that publishing the confidential and private information of users would be a violation of the microblogging platforms policies.
The outrage against Wikileaks comes hot on the heels of a revelation by intelligence officials in the United States that the organization was under scrutiny. This is because it is being suspected of having links to Russian hackers who are believed to have hacked into the emails of the Democratic National Committee.
In Wednesday’s trading, Twitter Inc fell by 0.40% to close the day at $17.30 a share.