Twitter’s “White People Stink” problem

More headaches for Twitter today, as “White People Stink” becomes a trending topic.  And it could have legs, as people see it trending , and tweet complaints, thus keeping it popular.  Not to mention the spammers who jump on the bandwagon.  It’s a Reply-To-All with millions of addresses.

Of course this is a big problem for the gentrifying Twitter.  It wants to make money from sponsored trends, but that will only come from big brand advertisers, and they’re notoriously controversy-averse (just ask Gilbert Gottfried).  Will Ford, Disney, or NBC want to have their trend next to White People Stink, linking them in the minds of Middle America?  No way.

What will happen?  Twitter is trying out some algorithmic fixes behind the scenes, but eventually will have to do some more manual curation.  When it comes to money, you can’t be too careful.

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2 Responses to “Twitter’s “White People Stink” problem”

  1. Social Media und Rassismus: das stinkt | Internetradierer.de | Social Media Says:

    […] es noch eine weitere, wirtschaftliche Dimension des Problems. Insbesondere für Twitter ist das Trending Topic problematisch, will der Microblogging-Dienst doch Geld mit gesponserten Trending Topics verdienen. Unternehmen […]

  2. Scott Locklin Says:

    My Korean friends are always saying that. Apparently, it’s a sour milk thing. I try not to mention garlic and kimchee when they do this.

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