#FreddieGray — is not trending on Twitter?

Last night, someone forwarded the following tweet to me:

A few years ago, at the peak of the #OccupyWallStreet movement, I published a piece that explained how Twitter’s Trending Topics (TTs) algorithm works, and why, that very popular hashtag actually never trended in New York City. Even though we saw increasing volume — number of tweets — published to the hashtag, when looking at the data, it was clear that velocity and kurtosis (i.e. “spiky-ness”) were a dominant factor behind the calculation of TTs. By utilizing TF-IDF (Term Frequency Inverse Document Frequency) the TTs algorithmic system is more likely to highlight rapidly accelerating topics and memes such as #KimKWedding and #2ThingsIKnow over something that’s slowly growing, such as #FreddieGray.

Here’s a link to that article:

Only a few days have passed since the brutal death of Freddie Gray and while there’s growing media coverage, we haven’t seen it emerge as a top Trending Topic in the States.

Some claim that Twitter is censoring the trend:

Others blame the algorithmic system:

Based on what I’m seeing in the data, the hashtag has been consistently trending in Baltimore since 4/19 (sorry for the lame x-axis labels). Interestingly, the first cities where the hashtags trended were Minneapolis and Philadelphia, NOT Baltimore.

Haven’t had the chance to compare the rate of tweets with this hashtags to the ones trending across the US right now to gauge the difference, which may help us understand why the hashtag has not trended in other cities.

I can’t help but wonder if this is also happening due to the relatively small amount of media devoted to Freddie’s death?

What do you think?