By Susan Aumiller, Community Relations Coordinator
Yesterday on Twitter a disturbing trending topic popped up. Trending topics show on the right side of Twitter, on every page, and are the most tweeted about topics that day. They’re usually a hashtag of some kind, and can link together people that want to discuss the same topic, like a recently release album or movie.
But on Sunday afternoon, the topic of choice was all about “reasons to beat your girlfriend.”
Apparently earlier in the day, Twitter removed the topic “eff you Washington,” which referred to the issues with the debt ceiling, but found no reasons to remove the topic “reasons to beat your girlfriend.”
The tag “#reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend” continued to gain steam, with many people giving reasons (like “because she didn’t make you a sandwich“), along with other people calling for the topic to be removed, and other’s trying to take away the violent meaning of the topic by saying things like “#reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend to the door… So you can open it for her.” While others said that it was never OK, and a petition was created for Twitter to see how this topic needed to be removed.
And yet, as I write this, nine hours after I originally noticed this topic trending, it’s still going strong, with people sending messages to people like Chris Brown and Charlie Sheen, asking them for their reasons.
I reached out to Twitter representatives to make a comment about their reasons for not removing this topic, and as of publishing time, they hadn’t yet responded.
We can assume that Twitter doesn’t want to impead on anyone’s first ammendment rights, or that they didn’t notice this disturbing topic, but it’s obvious to me, and the thousands of other signing this petition and tweeting for the topic’s removal, that it shouldn’t be a trending topic. There is something wrong with the world when people think it’s OK to list reasons to beat your girlfriend on a social networking site.
Twitter’s policy states that “if you don’t like a topic, don’t read about it.” Easier said than done when the topic in question is on the right side of every page, staring you in the face, and thousands of people are calling for its removal. Twitter also states that they “don’t remove topics, no matter what.” Then why did they remove “eff you Washington?” Didn’t that set the example that they will remove topics, if they’re rude, crude or in bad taste?
Domestic violence is never OK. It shouldn’t be joked about, and it shouldn’t become a trending topic on Twitter, Facebook or any other social networking site.
Take a stand and reach out to Twitter and let them know why this topic should be removed, why it’s not a joke and why it’s offensive to have as a trending topic.