This week, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said they would change their policy and practices. Excerpts from Thompson's follow-up story are below.
"That list will be going away," Stone said at a conference in Malaysia. "In its stead will be something that is more programmatically chosen, something that actually delivers more relevant suggestions."
Names on the suggested user list are selected by company officials. In California, Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls were placed on the list, a move that greatly boosted their number of followers. Republican candidates were left off until recently.
The difference in treatment drew outcries from good government groups and contributed to a decision by the California Fair Political Practices Commission to hold hearings next year. The commission plans to examine whether it needs to regulate how campaigns intersect with social media.
In the three weeks since an Associated Press story about the suggested user list, Twitter executives added all three of the Republican candidates seeking to replace Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is termed out of office after next year.
The switch gave each Republican a significant bump in followers, demonstrating the list's reach and influence.
Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, who led the Republican field with 4,160 Twitter followers, jumped to nearly 61,000 followers. Former Congressman Tom Campbell went from 1,660 followers to 57,500, while state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner's nearly 2,600 followers increased to 56,500.
By comparison, Attorney General Jerry Brown, the presumed Democratic gubernatorial candidate, increased from 960,000 followers to 1 million during the same three-week period.
Twitter also added Carly Fiorina, who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer next year.
The list's expansion drew praise from Kim Alexander, president of the nonprofit California Voter Foundation. She wants to see the site continue as an avenue for political discussion, saying it can serve as a valuable tool for voters who are just starting to get engaged in next year's campaign season.
California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring, however, urged Twitter to drop politicians from its favorites list if it doesn't end the list entirely.
"To include political candidates among suggested users is begging for some government entity to come in and regulate it," Nehring said.