WikiLeaks on Friday proposed making an online database of verified Twitter users based on information about their families, jobs, finances and housing.
In a subsequent series of tweets on Friday, WikiLeaks Task Force — a verified Twitter account described in its bio as the “Official @WikiLeaks support account” — explained that it wanted to look at the “family/job/financial/housing relationships” of Twitter’s verified users, which includes a ton of journalists, politicians and activists.
Later on, after criticism from several Twitter users, the same Wikileaks Support Account tweeted that “dishonest press reporting” its “speculative idea for a database of account influencing *relationships* with WikiLeaks doxxing home addresses.”
WikiLeaks said it does not plan to dox users’ home addresses and only intends to share the relationships between verified users based on “proximity graphs.” However, critics of the group’s idea expressed outrage and concern that such a tool would violate the safety and privacy of users and their families.
WikiLeaks said the purpose of such a database would be to inform its artificial intelligence software. The group also asked Twitter users for “other suggestions” as to how it might use the information.
The social communications company tweeted out a statement shortly after the original WikiLeaks tweet: “Posting another person’s private and confidential information is a violation of the Twitter Rules.”
Twitter has already said that it will not allow anyone, including government agencies, to use its services to create surveillance databases, and has a policy against posting another person’s private information on the service.
WikiLeaks is also under scrutiny for other reasons. Earlier this week, U.S. intelligence officials said they had information connecting the disclosure organization to Russian programmers suspected of hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s emails.Share This: