Twitter buried significant portions of tweets related to hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in the last two months of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Twitter’s systems hid 48 percent of tweets using the #DNCLeak hashtag and 25 percent of tweets using #PodestaEmails, Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett said in his written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
“Approximately one quarter (25%) of [#PodestaEmails tweets] received internal tags from our automation detection systems that hid them from searches,” Edgett said.
He added that “our systems detected and hid just under half (48%) of the Tweets relating to variants of another notable hashtag, #DNCLeak, which concerned the disclosure of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee.”
Just two percent of the tweets using the #DNCLeak hashtag came from “potentially Russian-linked accounts,” according to Edgett. He explained that Twitter hid the tweets as “part of our general efforts at the time to fight automation and spam on our platform across all areas.”
Anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks published the DNC and Podesta emails, which were damaging to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, throughout the election.
Among other things, the leaked emails revealed party officials secretly aided Hillary Clinton during her primary battle against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and exposed ostensibly neutral journalists as pro-Clinton partisans. (RELATED: One Year Later, Journalists Exposed By WikiLeaks Carry On As Before)
The U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russian operatives were behind the original hacking of both the DNC and Podesta emails, which were part of Russian influence operations meant to disrupt the American electoral system.