Today while looking at Techmeme I saw the post titled “How Black People Use Twitter” an article/research from the Slate.com written by Farhad Manjoo @fmanjoo. A few things bothered me when I first saw the headline. One is what in the world is Techmeme’s link policy? I know it’s part algorithm, part human and part buddy system. The other is being “Black/African-American” I care about the overall public perception about what is reportedly being published online about how African-Americans use Twitter and other social networks. The Slate article is not the first post about how “supposedly” black people use Twitter and I doubt it will be the last.
The article discusses trending @Twitter hashtags created by African-Americans but may or may not be the most positive hashtag. I’ve written about this last September in a post titled I’m embarrassed, upset and saddened by those trending topic tweets! Does a Race have a brand?. The @Slate article also uses the hashtag #blacktag, umm ok……. no comment.
Here’s the most important part of the research, which is on page two at the very bottom:
If you’re not a teen or twentysomething and probably working class, you’re likely not following these people, and you’re out of the loop,” he says. Like me, Wasow says he only notices these conversations when they hit Twitter’s trending lists.
Given that these hashtags are occurring in a subgroup of black people online, it is probably a mistake to take them as representative of anything larger about black culture. “For people who aren’t on the inside, it’s sort of an inside look at a slice of the black American modes of thought,” says Jonathan Pitts-Wiley
I wish the quotes above were in the first paragraph vs being at the bottom of the article. Regardless can we move past the how black people use Twitter topic? I don’t see too many post about how other races are using Twitter? Lynne d Johnson @lynneluvah tweeted last night:
Everyone uses Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites differently. Could some African-Americans use better judgement posting certain content to Twitter? Yes, but also can the rest of the world. Regardless, just because you see a few African-Americans creating various trending hashtags on Twitter don’t assume that’s how all “black” people use twitter.
One more thing! I don’t like the brown twitter bird with the hashtag hat… #justsayin