Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Black People & Twitter

A review of the article "How Black People Use Twitter"

Are black people responsible for all the #1 trending topics on twitter?

According to the research mentioned in the article "How Black People use Twitter" , we, especially young teenage African Americans are behind the "Trending Topics" you see reach number one everyday.  And apparently, the rest of the world is very amused with the "black twitter afterdark".

The trending topics are compared to Jeff Foxworthy's antics of "You might be a redneck...", except they are created by and apply mostly to black people.  Topics reaching the number one spots deal with race, sex, and love and are "stereotypical" of black culture.

For instance if you are a tweeter you may have participated in trending topics such as #ghettobabynames , #wordsthatgetyouintrouble, #threewordsaftersex, #oldpeoplenames , #yourenotmytype , and #annoyingquestions, all of which were started by blacks.  These trending topics are similar in idea to the concept of the game "the dozens", in which jokes are traded back and forth among participants in attempt to be recognized as the most creative and the funniest (think of the MTV show "Yo Mama"). 

The article recognizes that other cultures indeed participate in downplaying each other, but for some reason the population is more amused by "black entertainment".  Why so?

As one tweeter pointed out, some of the tweets seem to be a game of "who can tweet the most racist statements" and that it seems okay because we are tweeting about ourselves.  For instance the trending topic, #ifsantawasblack , seemed to be the most disturbing of them all, as far as I can remember.  The study notes that blacks are more likely to follow those who follow them, creating a tight knit network, and that the instant validation of a possible "re-tweet" are some factors that attribute to the popularity of black tweets.

However, has "black twitter" become a real time reality show of black culture? 

Read the article.  Is the black twitter world a problem?  Does it ever become a problem when tweets are in competition of being the mot outlandish?  Or is twitter just a social network where individuals are free to express themselves, meaning our conversations will never be a problem?  What do you think?