Twitter, the popular microblogging service, will eliminate its "suggested user" list after users complained it favored Democrats over Republicans in a state election, multiple news outlets reported today.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said the company would do away with the list on Monday while attending a conference in Malaysia. Political watchdogs alleged that the list, which contained more Democrats than Republicans vying for California's governorship next year, could unfairly harm the GOP candidates.
The company created the list last year because executive noticed a large amount of people were creating accounts then not following other users. The list has the ability to drive large amounts of traffic toward tweeters on it.
Stone, in a March blog post said other company officials and he decided who would be on the nearly 500-user list.
A recent study said that those on the list could gain up to 50,000 new followers after being on the list for one week. The controversy comes as Twitter has grown in popularity as a tool for politicians and candidates to share information with their constituents and potential voters.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D), who dropped out of the gubernatorial race at the end of last month, is on the list and has over 1.2 million followers. State Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) is also on the list and has 960,000 followers.
None of the three Republicans entered into the race are on the list and each have fewer than 5,000 followers.
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, ex-Rep. Tom Campbell and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner are the three Republican candidates.