Twitter can pretend that niche articles about the popularity of socialism are trending, meanwhile a comedian can tweet a poo emoji and a famous puppet to get more traction.
“One of the way [sic] Twitter manipulates us is with bogus trends,” Rubin Report talk show host and comedian Dave Rubin observed via Twitter. Rubin shared screenshots showing that Twitter was artificially pushing a minor Bloomberg Opinion article as trending across the platform. He added “Here they show us that ‘The pandemic is turning millennials into socialists’ as trending,” and commented that “The actual tweet from Bloomberg has 303 RT's.” Rubin suggested that he could get that same amount of traction “with a poop emoji and a picture of Alf,” the wisecracking alien from the American sitcom television series of the same name.
As of the writing of this article, Rubin’s tweet of a poop emoji and Alf photograph have received 4.2k likes, 2.1k retweets and 117 comments. The tweet by Bloomberg Opinion Rubin shared comparatively has only 3.9k likes and merely 1.8k retweets and comments.
The opening tweet of Bloomberg Opinion’s entire thread has 4.7k likes, edging out Rubin’s photo of Alf by only an approximate 500 likes.
Rubin followed his tweet by explaining his reasoning: “And for the record that’s not to besmirch the good name of Alf. (Though he was a suspected white supremacst, as seen here.)” The tweet featured a gif of Alf giving the “OK” sign, now besmirched by Anti-Defamation League (ADL) liberals as a hate symbol that has been co-opted by the alt-right and is equated with white nationalism.
Twitter has been famous for modifying its platform with political agendas in mind. The platform has purged statements of biological fact under the pretext of battling “transphobia.” But it allowed what could easily be described as age-based hatred to trend earlier this March.
The phrase “Boomer Remover” was one of the top trends on the trending list on Twitter as the COVID-19 virus’s impact began to be felt across the United States. The phrase was focused on young Americans celebrating the fact that the coronavirus epidemic is especially lethal to the elderly, particularly those of the Boomer generation who have been the target of Millennial resentment. Multiple outlets observed Twitter’s March 5 additions to its “hateful conduct” policy, which included banning posts that dehumanize “on the basis of age, disability or disease.”
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