Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 6th Dec 2010 00:24 UTC
Legal I'm (was?) a Twitter user. This past week I found it utterly weird that none of the words #wikileaks, #cablegate, #cables, #Assange were actually "trending". I even tweeted about this 5 days ago. Today, my fears of secret censorship seem to be coming true. It appears that Twitter is censoring all these words, so they don't appear in the (much-used) Twitter "trends" list. Update 1: A Twitter staffer replied to the blog post saying that their trending algorithm doesn't always result to the most popular terms. Update 2: More investigation about what might be going on.
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Twitter staffer
by henderson101 on Tue 7th Dec 2010 10:34 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

If you read the thread (all of the thread) in the comments for the second linked article ("Twitter staffer replies") The guy, Josh Elman, actually gives a pretty acceptable and logical explanation of why topics trend and why topics fail to trend, even if the perception is that they are "popular." The user "MrTiggr" also gives some extremely relevant insight in to what is going on. To me, this seems like a bit of a storm in a teacup. I actually have two twitter accounts. One is a personal account, one is a company account. One deals generally with people I know or interact with outside of work, the other is mainly work contacts and people peddling the same kinds of software or platforms I develop for. Except for the first couple of days after the news broke, none of the people on either account are tweeting about Wikileaks, or any related topic. Why? Because we are not interested in talking about that topic. So, I stand by what Josh/MrTiggr are saying - it all depends on demographics, and just because one key demographic group are up in arms about a specific term/trending topic, it doesn't mean that the term/topic is wide spread enough to trend in the top 10.

So, don't get me wrong - I'm not defending Twitter, I'm simply saying that their Trending engineer has given a perfectly acceptable response to the criticism, openly stated that the algorithm is not perfect and laid out clearly reasons why the topic will not trend unless a wide section of users are talking about it. I don't see why this needs to be discussed in such a negative way, given the explanations. I guess some people want to find evil in every thing?

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