While some are arguing that Twitter is blocking the #OccupyWallStreet hashtag, Gilad Lotan, VP of Research and Development at Social Flow, argues that it simply a matter of mathematics, not censorship.
Some point the blame at Twitter for censoring content, yet what seems to be happening is purely algorithmic. There's often more than meets the eye when it comes to algorithmically generated TTs. In this post we dissect some of the dynamics at play, looking at all OWS related terms that have trended on Twitter since the start of the movement, their volume of appearance in tweets, and the times and locations they've trended. As in our previous studies on networked audiences and virality, by understanding the networked environment that enables information to spread, we gain valuable insight on why certain topics become more visible and how locations around the world affect each other in this game to maximize attention.
If anything, points out Reuters' Ben Berkowitz, that simple hashtag combined with one Twitter post, is what started the entire movement which gained momentum all over the world.
It all started innocuously enough with a July 13 blog post urging people to #OccupyWallStreet, as though such a thing (Twitter hashtag and all) were possible.
It turns out, with enough momentum and a keen sense of how to use social media, it actually is.
The Occupy movement, decentralized and leaderless, has mobilized thousands of people around the world almost exclusively via the Internet. To a large degree through Twitter, and also with platforms like Facebook and Meetup, crowds have connected and gathered.
Check out pictures from the weekend's global Occupy Wall Street protests via The Atlantic.