Elon's Firing of Twitter Staff Reveals Trending Lists Were Likely Manipulated Toward Politics

AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

After Chief Twit Elon Musk fired thousands of people from Twitter, interesting things began to happen. Twitter’s userbase and activity only increased for one, and this despite leftist blue checks exiling themselves from the platform and encouraging everyone to go with them.


Another thing that began to happen is nature began returning.

According to Niche Gamer, people in Japan began noticing a distinct lack of politics in the trending list on their Twitter pages, which was odd since there was always something political to be seen there. According to Niche, the trending list is now full of Gundam and anime trends:

Gundam and other entertainment have replaced politics on Japanese Twitter Trends after new owner Elon Musk laid off thousands of employees at the company.

The layoffs included the Twitter Curation team, which at least one Japanese journalist has attributed this change from politics to entertainment on the team’s dissolution.

This was noticed by Business Insider Japan writer Ikeko Takeshita who speculated that the trending list must not be updated since it was a regular occurrence for her company to write up an article and send it to Twitter for curation where it would become a “trend.”

“I’m pretty sure Twitter’s news feed isn’t updated,” tweeted Takeshita. “We media created a moment for our own article → , contacted the Twitter curation team → , and it may or may not have been selected after screening, but this work has made sense for a while. I wonder if there isn’t?

As one user responded, this suggests that Twitter had been colluding with “specific media” to create “trends” that push specific narratives.

As Niche points out, the trending list in Japan is now full of things people in Japan tend to find more interesting such as anime and J-Pop, and the change has been a welcome one:


Japanese users have compared this list to previous days where almost all trending topics were political in nature. The user who posted the list called the new trends “peaceful” and joked about how the curation team must have spend their time “sorting out topics like this every day”.

Perhaps it’s also affected the United States as well. As of this writing, looking at the general trending list, nothing political appears until number 13 with “Paul Ryan” trending. Everything else is entertainment or sports related.

While there’s been no actual confirmation that manipulation was happening yet, the people can piece together that this is exactly what was happening and had been happening for some time. Topics would accompany news stories that often gave boosts to left-leaning narratives and right-leaning trending topics would often disappear rather hastily.

With Twitter’s staff gone, things seem to be more oriented toward things people actually enjoy.


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