Thursday, July 07, 2011

Twitter trends askew

This is innerestin.

I am running an experiment to count  twitter frequency even as we speak.

I have 2 windows open on Twitter, one searching #notw (=News of the World) and another searching  GINGER PEOPLE. (Yes, I know). GINGER PEOPLE is trending. #Notw is not trending.

We are 3 minutes in to the present run, and they are neck and neck at 59(#notw) and 60

I am using standard Twitter (on a PC, Windows XP), and it puts up bars saying "20 new tweets2 "40 new tweets" &c at the appropriate time. They're at 99 and 100 now, * minutes in. Neck and neck.

On the first run, #notw was running about 5 sec ahead at 160 before GINGER PEOPLE reached 159. (Odd, that 99 thing).

Anyway, the point is that #notw, (which has just reached 158 before GINGER PEOPLE could breach 140) was not on the official trending list, when my observations show that (according to the information reaching my computer), it was being tweeted more frequently than GINGER PEOPLE.

That is the observation. What hypotheses can we produce to explain this unexpected state of affairs?

In explaining similar past discrepancies, I recall that Twitter said it was discounting retweets. A quick visual scan  of  about 20 tweets shows only one RT in each search.

There must be some other logical, scientific, serious technical explanation for my observation.

They could say I'm making up my figures to get the result I wanted. But my keystrokes are all down there in memory, so that is checkable.

Someone could replicate the work.

Someone could have a different explanation.

Someone must do something to refute the hypothesis that someone in or near Twitter is tweaking the codes to stop #notw (=News of The World) trending.

[Update: I checked. Ran "#notw" against "Murdochs". Murdochs came in a bad second at 6:50, with 57 new tweets against #notw 100]


Twattered said...

Thanks for this.

This isn't the first time there have been such suspicions and it sure appears that our beloved Twitter is not free from editorial content. I can see no other reason for the lack of #NOTW and other variations in the Trending Topics.

So Twitter...why?

DocRichard said...

Twattered, good. I am glad I am not alone. At least there are 2 of us.

Twattered said...

Ah, we're far from alone, Doc.

And apologies, I meant to say "Twitter is not free from editorial CONTROL" in my post.

DocRichard said...

We need more data. Run the test again when a political topic is v hot, but not trending.

What's your twitter address? Have we met already?