Tweet No Evil: Twitter Censoring Trending Topics
Were you on Twitter last night? I was—it’s about the only thing I can do while watching my favorite summer show. And Burn Notice was one of the trending topics—among other . . . “less savory” terms. Some of my friends complained about the offensive trending topics; I minimized the list.
But it appears Twitter didn’t just let things stand. Read Write Web reports:
Within minutes (as far as we could tell), both terms were removed from the list on the web interface at Twitter.com. However, they still showed up on third party services such as TwitScoop and Hashtags.org.
RWW’s Julie O’Dell asks whether it was the over sexual nature of the offending tags that made the difference here, since the Trending Topics list is often plagued with the “asinine, spammy, emo, and pointless.”
To many users, the vulgar tags aren’t the biggest problem in the long term—it’s the spammy ones (not to mention the spammy usage of trending topics). Julie asks:
Should there be an algorithm for trends rather than making trending topics a pure numbers game? Should the system be fixed so that #liesboystell doesn’t win out over truly important, significant, or newsworthy content? Should tweets, like images and other kinds of content, be screen for “adult” material and user preferences be set accordingly? Or do trends really belong to the lowest common denominator?
What do you think?