WikiLeaks threatens to build a database of verified Twitter users
Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, will perhaps be remembered as the day WikiLeaks stopped even pretending to be an organization dedicated to governmental transparency.
After tweeting against government leaks, the organization floated the idea of building a database of information about verified Twitter users.
The theoretical database would include information about the families, jobs, finances and housing of anyone with a blue check next to their name. And, while it's not clear exactly how such a database would be published, it seems that an "online database" would be available to anyone with an internet connection, which is also known as doxing.
We are thinking of making an online database with all "verified" twitter accounts & their family/job/financial/housing relationships.
— WikiLeaks Task Force (@WLTaskForce) January 6, 2017
WikiLeaks later said the idea is to "develop a metric to understand influence networks based on proximity graphs," denying it is a doxing attempt.
But it's pretty easy to see how WikiLeaks, should it collect such information, could leverage it as a threat against anyone it wanted.
Twitter didn't respond directly, but it's hard to take the tweet below as anything but a response to WikiLeaks' earlier idea.
Whether they'd ban WikiLeaks, however, is another question.
Welcome to 2017, everyone.