Bieber Fans Outsmart Twitter

Tweens fool trending algorithm to keep Justin on top
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2010 1:11 PM CDT
Justin Bieber performs at the 102.7 KIIS FM’s Wango Tango, Saturday, May 15, 2010, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

(Newser) – Hoping to keep things fresh—and, perhaps, curb Bieber-mania—Twitter changed the algorithm that decides which topics to publicize as "trending," Gawker reports. The new rules favor topics that suddenly become more popular over those, like teen singing sensation Justin Bieber, that are constant topics of discussion. But Twitter seems to have underestimated the 11-to-16 crowd: Bieber's fans have fooled the algorithm by popularizing thinly veiled changes to his name, like "Twieber" and "Jieber."

If Twitter's intent was to shake up trending mainstays like Bieber, the company can't be happy—with the help of "Jieber" and "Twieber," the singer now occupies two or three spots on the trending list instead of just one.

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