Censoring Twitter: The Curious Case Of #quantickstesticles

Did it annoy you? Make you laugh? Amaze? Disgust?

July 2, 2009 will forever be the day David Quantick‘s genitalia managed to become a major trending topic on Twitter. I’ll assume some of that makes sense to you. If not, please join the 21st century soon.

For those of you accustomed to tweeting, the ability to trend at Twitter, at the same time Michael Jackson has consumed all media, is something the devoted twitwit will not normally achieve. When I saw our buddy Dave had begun a journey into hashtag hell, I had to follow along.

And along…

For many hours today beginning at midday, I watched as Dave managed to get people to jump onboard his ridiculous quest to make his testicles famous. And as #quantickstesticles starts to pop up in Tweets everywhere, *groan* Mr. Q decides his famous pair needs proper names. But, of course! I chose Sid & Nancy although I really wanted Joe & Jackson to honor Michael Jackson’s father, Joseph.

Did you have any names chosen? It doesn’t matter now. Twitter stopped the trendy hashtag late this afternoon. For a while, #quantickstesticles was (were?) #6, maybe even higher? And yet, if you went to see what the fuss was all about, you would wind up, after clicking on the tag, without any topic at all.

Apparently, this harmless joke effectively pointed out how easy it is to skew Twitter metrics, or, as their tag cloud calls them- trending topics, which must not have amused the twonchos at Twitter HQ. DQ’s trendy hashtag was history by the end of the workday; unable to reappear in the tag cloud, no matter how many people joined in the push to trend #quantickstesticles on Twitter.

Let this be a lesson to Web 2.0 devotees. The online universe is NOT that big after all. And nothing draws flies like a little honey. Bands, labels and media debating the possibilities available (or not) to all on the internet should take note – transparency and free will need to be in place at all times. Start to take yourself too seriously (hello Twitter!) and risk an immediate backlash. Besides, censorship is un-American.

Twitter needs a compass

Twitter needs a compass


One Response to “Censoring Twitter: The Curious Case Of #quantickstesticles”

  1. […] of the cause. Some of these are trivial, like the recent #songsincode or the slightly older #quantickstesticles but several seem to be aiming for higher things. The #iranelection tag was pervasive at the […]

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