This article was published on May 31, 2010

Is What’s Trending Now Really Trending On Twitter?

Is What’s Trending Now Really Trending On Twitter?
Ahmad F Al-Shagra
Story by

Ahmad F Al-Shagra

Co-founder of, Ex-Editor of The Next Web ME, trainer, blogger, and programmer. Co-founder of, Ex-Editor of The Next Web ME, trainer, blogger, and programmer.

Twitter ShacklesAs the controversy continues regarding Israel’s latest attack on the humanitarian aids ship the Flotilla, Twitter gets a blow to it’s trademark trending topics.

Is it a mere coincidence that the word Flotilla will not trend no matter how many people trend it as reported by TechCrunch earlier today? Or has Gaza’s catastrophe and massacre just exposed a weakness in twitters new trending algorithm they have been flaunting recently.

Mike Butcher of TechCrunch wrote of a possible Algorithm Anomaly which sounds as plausible to us as Israel’s claim the humanitarian ship hit them first, something smells fishy in the Mediterranean Sea this morning, and it’s not twitter’s fail whale.

We have been following the trends for today and have reached the conclusion that Twitter have blocked three terms which were Israel, Flotilla, and Gaza for at least 3 hours today from 9:00am-12:00pm GMT blocking even real time updates when searching for those three terms also. What makes it even more creepy is that Flotilla hit it’s peak exactly when Twitter started blocking it!

Trendistic Flotilla Graph

Gaza TrendingWhat adds to the mystery of the why and how, is that “Flotilla Gaza” is trending only as if both words are used together, additionally the word Israil as spelled in Turkish was trending during that period. Now the only trending term on the Twitter Home Page marquee is “Gaza Flotilla” which has been supported by all those condemning the attack and massacre that happened earlier today, but “Freedom Flotilla” which is currently trending in 4th place at the time this article was written as shown below.

To compensate for the lack of trending and possible blockage by twitter many sources have taken it upon themselves to compensate using real time mashups such as Al Jazeera’s Monitor Flotilla portal.

Al Jazeera's Monitoring Flotilla

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