Twitter Says It’s Not Censoring Occupy Wall Street–People Really Are More Concerned With Doritos Right Now

ows ipad Twitter Says Its Not Censoring Occupy Wall Street  People Really Are More Concerned With Doritos Right Now

An iPad set up Saturday night for anyone to tweet from the protest.

Demonstrators down on Wall Street for the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ campaign as well as interested parties following the event online were wondering why the hashtag hasn’t broken into Twitter’s trending topics list, which right now feature Radiohead, Doritos and #thechew, a new talk show. Considering there is evidence that Yahoo is blocking emails about the protest with a message about “suspicious activity,” it was suggested that Twitter was also censoring the topic.

Not so, says Twitter’s Carolyn Penner, who pointed us to this blog post, written after people made the same speculation about the #wikileaks tag, which explains that Twitter’s trending topics are based on what’s breaking out rather than what’s popular. “Twitter Trends are automatically generated by an algorithm that attempts to identify topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously,” it explains.

Sometimes a topic doesn’t break into the Trends list because its popularity isn’t as widespread as people believe. And, sometimes, popular terms don’t make the Trends list because the velocity of conversation isn’t increasing quickly enough, relative to the baseline level of conversation happening on an average day; this is what happened with #wikileaks this week.

Protesters have been using #occupywallstreet, #occupywallst and #ows to collect tweets about the demonstration.


  1. USAnotOK says:

    Weird, because trend maps says otherwise….

  2. Anonymous says:

    Weird, because most people I know couldn’t care less about some self-absorbed, unemployed “artists” protesting in Manhattan

    1. Buzzbuzzvintage says:

      Well they better care, because it’s those same “fringe” people who brought about change in the past and the same people who will bring about change now.  Any major events in this country linked to major change started with a group of what was in the beginning perceived as “outsiders” but once the fire is lit, and in this case it was a long time coming, and the longer it burns the more aware everyone will be that this one will not be put out.  Wall Street has had full reign far too long with only a handful being prosecuted. 

      1. Anonymous says:

        You mean like the Tea Party supporters? You know the ones – the crazy white-haired people on motorcycles, carrying US flags, cooking hot dogs, making speeches?

        Those average people started a movement too, but are panned daily as crazy, nutjobs that are manipulated and controlled by Fox News and the Koch brothers, whoever they are.

        I’d like to see more than semi-literate 20 year olds tell us what this is really about. 

      2. Fed up Fed says:

        Well, I’m a 40-year old professional writer, and I could tell you what it’s about, but you wouldn’t listen.  Somehow in the intervening years since Goldman Sachs raped and pillaged the entire world economy, people like you became convinced that it was all the fault of poor people and Democrats.  Facts, my friend, have a liberal bias.

      3. Anonymous says:

        Sorry Fed up Fed, facts have by definition, no bias. The describers of facts, however all have inherent biases. I’m sure as a professional writer, you are far more skilled in the use of the written word to express facts.

        Yet you resort to words like raped, pillaged, and “entire” to imply a scenario that is not only physically impossible, is impossible to substantiate with facts. So you’re premise becomes fiction immediately.

        You don’t know me, don’t care to educate, and don’t care to explain what the goals or objectives are of this. Your tolerance does not extend beyond those you deem intellectually incapable of hearing your side, and do not argue my points, merely create straw men that are unrelated to my comments.

        Obviously, you’ve studied Goldman Sachs and made exposing their dastardly deeds your life’s mission. Great, we need passion and I wish you the absolute best. I’ve been there and done that exercise. However, I have a family to support, a job to do, and a small business to run.

        I know I’m not a professional writer, but hey, I spell 99% of my words correctly, use fairly decent grammar. I’ve enjoyed your comments, disagree with your premise that facts can have bias, and we shall agree to disagree.

        Good luck with your protests. In closing, you are one of the more literate posters I’ve seen on these sites. Your efforts are a positive addition to the cause.

      4. Anonymous says:

        Perhaps my feedback on the movement will resonate with someone.

        I’m a 42-year old IT architect. I have worked for IBM for 13 years. While I feel very fortunate to have a good job, I constantly see my peers being laid off and their jobs filled overseas. While my performance ratings have been consistently good, my pay has been stagnant for the past 5 years (were this isolated to IBM, I would certainly go elsewhere). Cost of living, on the other hand, has continued to rise. As a result, my standard of living has steadily declined and my household budget is painfully squeezed. I don’t live extravagantly. I have a normal home in a middle-class neighborhood, kids, dogs, a minivan, a bit of debt from prior consumerism when the margin between my income and my cost of living was wider and my job held the promise of continued improvements in pay. Each month, the noose tightens a bit more. Each month, I get closer to not being able to pay some of the bills as food prices go up, gas prices go up, school fees for my kids go up, etc. 

        For many families, the situation has become dire. For many others, it will be dire in the near-to-midterm future. For me, I’m a lay-off away from potential crisis. That leads to fear, which leads to compliance and paralysis. This is not how we should live. We, the 99%, work hard and deserve better. Our children deserve a better opportunity than this.

        I’m thankful that people are occupying and marching. I can’t be down there fighting the fight directly because I’ve still got my job and family and need to bang it out each day to hang on to what I’ve still got. Whether they’re unemployed college students or grizzled activists, they’re doing a MUCH better job of representing me than our elected politicians. I hope their movement … our movement … continues to grow.


      5. Jonathan Oak says:

        @Rwitte42:disqus Very well put, sir.   I too work every day to hold it down and can not be down there each day and am very appreciative of the people who are down at the Occupy protests who are able to continue doing what I can’t do myself.  They are not a prefect group, but like you said, they are managing to represent a big portion of our population better than the politicians who are being paid to do so… probably because they are getting paid more by someone else.

    2. GamingInVain says:

      Unemployed because the damn economy peace of shit.

    3. Anon says:

      Clearly you don’t care about the issues regardless of who is there, because if you did you would have checked it out and you’d therefore know that there are ex traders, teachers, writers, reporters, grannies, kids…
      You’re imagining what this is all about and who it is without actually thinking for yourself, but I guess that’s normal for most apathetic Americans.

      Keep listening to what your corporate masters tell you, and why not save them some time by giving them your savings, any future pension, quit your job, give up your home. They’re coming for it anyway, then it’ll be you wishing you’d actually paid attention when you had the chance to do something to stop it.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Sounds like a colorful Tea Party event. With music and art. And less direction, no theme, and no clear goals. That’s my problem with it. I have followed this event more than anyone I know in “flyover” country. And what I have seen is not compelling. Sorry. 

        In today’s politically charged environment, it’s all about the “optics”, and they aren’t good for this event. Even the NY Times says this is a leaderless, confusing event. Perhaps that will change. We will see.

      2. Anonymous says:

        I think we’re at the stage where folks are raising awareness that it’s broken.  Once enough people engage in that conversation, perhaps it will move to what to do about it.

  3. Var Enyo says:

    Yes, everyone cares more about over-priced nearly empty bags of expensive chips more than they do about the financial district that helped crash the economy.

  4. binloveds says:

    If it’s not on mainstream news, “it’s not news” to most people. So sad, and Twitter knew this when they made the statement about Doritos. It’s so dirty and nasty when you can see the manipulations of reality by ALL forms of mainstream media. Sickening…

  5. Anon says:

    Not buying it.
    Because within minutes of Michael Moore arriving at OWS he was trending, from out of nowhere.

    If Twitter wants to censor their service to satisfy their corporate owners, they should at least have the balls to admit it.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Read their explanation — they’re not looking at volume of tweets. They are looking for a sudden burst of tweets about a topic. That’s why it’s “trending,” not “popular.” Michael Moore appeared, suddenly everyone was tweeting about it–the volume of tweets about Michael Moore suddenly spiked. Whereas people had been tweeting a lot about Occupy Wall Street all week.

      1. Fed up Fed says:

        The volume of tweets exploded on Saturday after Tony Baloney assaulted several unarmed girls.  #occupywallstreet still didn’t trend.  Funny, that.

  6. There will always be plenty of apathetic people… they don’t matter, really. It’s those who get involved who matter. Get involved. Matter.

  7. Remembering says:

    Twitter is absolutely censoring the Occupy hashtags. They are lying. The maps prove it, as well as the volume of conversation on Twitter marked with the hashtags they say are not trending.

    This topis has exploded in a very short time span, precisely what Twitter says triggers the trending topic. So, what gives Twitter ? You are the corporation we call CONNECTED … thanks for the proof.

    I’m seriously worried …

  8. Chris Ossman says:

    Maybe it’s time to start using a different social networking medium.  If Twitter is selling out, it’s time to boycott it.  As a matter of fact it’s time to start boycotting all corporations that are buying politicians.  Let’s start with the oil companies.  As soon as we can figure out a support system that allows us to limit the amount of gas we need:  check out, because ideas could be coming from that blog

  9. Floralfighters says:

    Find this hard to believe. What about Iran Elections. Memba that?

  10. I used a number of other Trends tools and they all showed #OccupyWallStreet to be up to #2 in trends at 8:30am. So yes she’s right, it has to be popular at an exact moment and not in the long tail, but #OccupyWallStreet definitely shouldve shown up as a trend at some point during the morning. Cheers @SilkCharm 

  11. Joan says:

    I was tied up to an IV for medical treatments, so I had a LOtTof time to check this out. I went to the TT’s in the United States.Each of them had only one tweet that was RT’s over 100x’s. One tweet. 
    At the same time #OWS had 16, yes, sixteen tweets that had been RT’s over 100x’s. Carolyn Penner is mistaken or Twitter’s TT needs to Tweak out the kinks is a mal-functioning program