Once Again, Twitter Trending Topics Polluted By Spam (Or Not)

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Really curious to find out how this is done exactly, but someone somewhere has managed to change a real trending topic on Twitter – #MrsSlocombe – into something childish, as you can tell from the screenshot above. Strangely enough, when you do a search for the less appropriate trending topic, not a single result pops up (for now).

Update: ok apparently it’s a legitimate trending topic (see origin here, it was meant as a tribute to British comic actress Mollie Sugden on the occasion of her death, so fans, celebrities and Brits in general started to tweet it) but Twitter is just blocking search results from appearing (which is good). Update 2: I’m not ‘pro-censorship’, but in this particular case it’s understandable behavior on Twitter’s behalf, period. I’m sure they didn’t mean to interrupt or ban tributes to a deceased person.

This may seem like something mundane at first glance, but many people (including reporters worldwide) track Twitter trending topics for breaking news, and it worries me that they can be manipulated. I mean, it’s one thing if large groups of people arrange for certain terms to show up in Twitter’s trending topics, but it’s a whole other story when they can be gamed with a hack (see update above).

(hat tip to Samuel Ryan)

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