When WikiLeaks announced it had leaked Democratic National Committee emails on Friday, Twitter went into overdrive with tweets about the implications the incident might have on the upcoming Democratic National Convention, which begins on Monday.
By Friday afternoon, Twitter users saw that the hashtag “#DNCLeaks” was trending and that there were over 250,000 tweets about the leaked emails being posted and retweeted across the platform.
However, as reported in the Washington Examiner, by Friday evening, the hashtag disappeared completely from the trending bar, and users say it was missing for at least 20 minutes. After users tweeted their displeasure, the hashtag reappeared in a slightly modified form: “DNCLeak.” Unfortunately, the hashtag was restored to trending too late to satisfy angered users.
— Gabe (@gacman0) July 23, 2016
— Marzipan Wiley (@marzipanwiley) July 23, 2016
Many claims are circulating that Twitter deleted the hashtag completely, resulting in the need to create a similar one in singular form in order to appease or even fool Twitter users after they noticed the disappearance and became outraged. One right wing conspiracy theorist even suggested online that Hillary Clinton herself forced Twitter to shut it down and delete it.
The leaked emails provided by hacker Guccifer 2.0 revealed obstruction and manipulation by Democratic Party leaders in order to give their preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, the extra push to win the nomination. The revealed emails included messages from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, trying to manipulate Chuck Todd of NBC and discredit Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for criticizing her.
Some of the leaked emails included messages from party leaders trying to find a way to make the Vermont senator reveal himself as an atheist in order to destroy public opinion of him in Bible Belt states during the primary season.
The WikiLeaks organization issued a complaint to Twitter that the hashtag and messages about the email leak were being suppressed. According to The Daily Dot, WikiLeaks has contacted Twitter regarding the disappearance of tweets containing the hashtag and is still waiting for a response.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 23, 2016
Twitter has been accused of suppressing trending stories in the past, particularly anti-Hillary Clinton messages. In this case, some users are experiencing trouble even posting tweets with the hashtag. The tweet below shows the user receiving a message that the post is spam or malicious:
— Tyler (@w1ndyy) July 23, 2016
At the time of this writing, the hashtag “#DNCleak” was trending in fifth place, showing 515,000 tweets using the hashtag.
Featured image via Getty Images.