People write and talk about what's "trending on Twitter" as though the trend meant something. It doesn't. It's based on deeply flawed Twitter search software that gives random, widely varying results. I know the weatherman is often wrong, but what if he said it was going to be sunny in the 70's tommorow and as often as not there was a blizzard -- would you keep listening? It's the same with Twitter, only worse.
Trending on Twitter is everywhere
It's amazing how widespread this useless stuff is. New York Times editors are in on the game.
Trending on Twitter is meaningless garbage
I don't have the access to perform a universal test. But I did perform a test, and anyone else can reproduce my results. I did searches over a couple week period for the same term and saved the results. Sometimes the results were correct, but most of the time, items that were there before disappeared, only to pop up again on a subsequent search. Sometimes just a couple things were missing, and sometimes the gap was massive. Here is the evidence.
Then I took the search that appeared to have the most gaps, and performed the identical search about a week later. As I documented, one search had just 5 items and the other had 32, when they should have been identical. About 85% of the search results had been dropped by Twitter!
"Trending on Twitter" is based on comparing results of a search performed on one day to the same search performed on other days. If the number of results goes up or down, you've got a trend. Or so you think. But what if the results are really as bad as I have documented? I found that "blackliszt" went up or down by a factor of 6, like 600%! Wow!
Twitter software has always been bad. Management has learned to disguise the awfulness by suppressing the appearance of the "fail whale," but they clearly haven't actually, you know, made the software better. Anyone who takes its results as actually meaning something is depending on bogus data.