Shutup, Twitter Isn't Censoring Your Dumb Trends

So brilliant writer and Iraq War apologist Christopher Hitchens died last night. Almost immediately, #GodIsNotGreat started trending on Twitter. It's the title of one of Hitchens' books, of course, but it made a lot of people angry.

Many people, presumably of faith, had no idea that this was a book reference. So they got upset, and began tweeting about it. That of course just further propagated the hashtag, causing more confusion, anger, and (in some quarters) Hitchensian glee.

But wait, here comes the backlash to the backlash. When #GodIsNotGreat stopped trending, people assumed it was because Twitter took it down at the behest of offended Christians.

Wrong!

Twitter uses an algorithm to determine what's trending. It's not human-edited. It famously values novelty over popularity. That makes it really really hard for trends to stay alive, as they essentially have to keep snowballing in order to keep trending. That's why it's called a trend!

A Twitter spokesperson verified that the company still does not censor trends (although obscenities will be filtered out). Even if the trend was really, really offensive—see the #ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend trending topic above—the company would not intervene.

So, while your theory is nice, Internet, it's also wrong. You're not being censored, you're just dull.