Twitter has denied that it has censored WikiLeaks by preventing posts relating to it from from appearing in its Trends side bar.
A minor storm kicked up over the weekend as conspiracy theorists alleged that the micro-blogging site was deliberately keeping the whistle-blowing site out of the Trends ranking, which is supposed to point out hot topics to Twitter users.
Late last night Twitter's communications director Matt Graves sent us a statement which attempts to explain the apparent anomaly between the amount of traffic relating to WikiLeaks and the Cablegate leaks, and the non-appearance of these topics in the Trends listing.
"Twitter is not censoring #wikileaks, #cablegate or other related terms from the Trends list of trending topics," he told THINQ.
"Our Trends list is designed to help people discover the ‘most breaking’ breaking news from across the world, in real-time. The list is generated by an algorithm that identifies topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously.
"There’s a number of factors that may come into play when seemingly popular terms don’t make the Trends list. Sometimes topics that are popular don’t break into the Trends list because the current velocity of conversation (volume of Tweets at a given moment) isn’t greater than in previous hours and days. Sometimes topics that are genuinely popular simply aren’t widespread enough to make the list of top Trends. And, on occasion, topics just aren't as popular as people believe."
So there you have it. Twitter Trends doesn't measure volume of traffic, it points out unusual spikes.
However, over here is an analysis of unusual spikes that seems to undermine Twitter's denial.