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  • Facebook claims the block was an accident.

    Facebook claims the block was an accident. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 July 2016

Users were temporarily unable to post links to the DNC-related WikiLeaks files which have caused a public relations disaster for the Democratic Party.

WikiLeak's bombshell leak of a cache of emails on Friday revealing Democratic Party insiders plotting against Hillary Clinton's populist rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, were blocked temporarily for no reason by Facebook, news outlets reported.

The social media giant faced a barrage of opposition from users, with WikiLeaks accusing it of “censorship.”

Did Twitter Censor WikiLeaks' DNC Email Dump?

When Facebook users attempted to post links about the WikiLeaks files on their Facebook accounts, error messages popped up, saying the links had been "detected to be unsafe" by Facebook's security system. It then proceeded to ask users “to remove links to continue.”

A Facebook representative told Gizmodo, “Like other services, our anti-spam systems briefly flagged links to these documents as unsafe," adding that Facebook “quickly corrected this error on Saturday evening.”

Just earlier this month, Facebook came under fire for removing a live video showing the the fatal shooting of a Black man, Philando Castile, by a police officer in Minnesota. The company later came out to say the footage was removed due to a “technical glitch.”

This follows on the heels of speculation that Twitter had censored the quickly-rising trending hashtag #DNCLeaks.

The hashtag was trending worldwide, with over 251,000 tweets circulating revelations, such as those emails in which DNC leaders mocked Bernie Sanders.

Friday night, the trend disappeared for about 20 minutes, reported the Washington Examiner, causing uproar by WikiLeaks supporters. The trend then reappeared as #DNCLeak, but with significantly less tweets.

Wasserman Schultz Resigns as DNC Chair, Gets Hired by Clinton

One Twitter user said the tweets might have been censored because some of the emails contained malware, and another mentioned that WikiLeaks did not leave out personal information like passport numbers and addresses. Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey later called allegations of censorship “false.”

He and the other co-founders have been notably silent about politics during the election cycle, but their funds suggest significant investment in the DNC.

Former CEO Dick Costolo donated US$10,000 to the DNC, as did at least one other director, and Hillary Clinton was the company’s biggest recipient of donations with over US$30,000.

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