Occupy Wall Street
A number of New York state lawmakers received a disturbing email with the subject line “time to kill the wealthy” that threatened employees of tech companies if the state does not renew its tax surcharge on millionaires. According to Politico, the email used terminology from Occupy Wall Street movement, though there has been no connection made with what’s actually happening in Zuccotti Park:
“The angry message demanded that Albany politicians ‘stop shoveling wealth from the lower 99 percent into the top 1 percent’ and “set aside your ‘no new taxes on anybody’ pledge.’”
The email was reportedly sent to State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and State Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari. It’s still unclear whether Governor Cuomo received the email as well.
Some protesters on Wall Street are chagrined to see that the protest, following an explosion of media coverage, still isn’t trending on Twitter. On Wednesday, “Foley Square”–the meeting place for the megamarch planned with students and labor unions–made it into the top ten trends in New York. “Truly, @twitter. Foley Square is trending but #occupywallstreet never has? #occupytwitter,” one user wrote.
But even “Foley Square” was quickly supplanted by terms related to the death of Steve Jobs. As one blogger representative of the Twitter censorchip theory wrote, “TrendsMap Proves Scary Twitter Censorship Of #OccupyWallStreet From Trending Topics.” And as Young Manhattanite Andrew Krucoff points out, JP Morgan Chase is an investor in Twitter.
Demonstrators down on Wall Street for the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ campaign as well as interested parties following the event online were wondering why the hashtag hasn’t broken into Twitter’s trending topics list, which right now feature Radiohead, Doritos and #thechew, a new talk show. Considering there is evidence that Yahoo is blocking emails about the protest with a message about “suspicious activity,” it was suggested that Twitter was also censoring the topic.
Not so, says Twitter’s Carolyn Penner, who pointed us to this blog post, written after people made the same speculation about the #wikileaks tag, which explains that Twitter’s trending topics are based on what’s breaking out rather than what’s popular. “Twitter Trends are automatically generated by an algorithm that attempts to identify topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously,” it explains.