Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Twitter censors hashtags - the evidence

Twitter has a Trend list that is supposed to show the ten most frequent topics being tweeted.

Right now, (10:40am), Vince Cable is in 7th spot, on account of his tardy tax payments.

#OccupyOakland is a very busy hashtag, on account of the cowards in the Oakland Police attacking non-violent demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets.

I set up two tag pages alongside each other, both on Twitter, and set one going to collect #OccupyOakland tweets, and another to collect Vince Cable tweets.

Right now, ten minutes later, the #OccupyOakland tweets come in at 159, and Vince has 92 tweets.

Yet Vince is on the Twitter trending list, and #OccupyOakland is not.

I have run this test before with the same results: politically sensitive topics do not make it to the Twitter trend lists.

The question is, who censors Twitter? Is this a voluntary self-censorship, or does some Government agency visit them at their offices and sit on their desks?

Whatever the explanation, it stinks.

1 comment:

between-the-lines said...

Hi Richard, you might find this post at P2P today interesting too:

There's a lot more going on than meets the eye, of course.