Wednesday's trending Twitter topic 'BlackBuzzFeed' dominated the Internet and sent it into hysterics, but is there really such thing as 'Black Twitter?'
Is Twitter becoming a vehicle of cultural enlightenment?
While some may beg to differ, Wednesday's fascinating trending topic "BlackBuzzFeed" supports the belief that there's more to Twitter than hashtags, confusing acronyms and bad jokes.
"BlackBuzzFeed" began taking off when user @desusnice tweeted "Buzzfeed's hiring a lot of Black writers. Looking forward to seeing "A Different World" recreated using micro pig gifs" to his nearly 5,000 followers.
And then for much of the day, the hashtag #BlackBuzzFeed, a tongue-in-cheek numeration of African-American fads and expressions done in the style of BuzzFeed, started trending. "20 Reasons You Can't Touch My Hair #BlackBuzzfeed," and "10 white people who want to participate in #BlackBuzzfeed but figure it's better to just back off" are two examples.
That initial tweet by @desusnice was referring to the hire of Joel D. Anderson, who BuzzFeed staffer Shani O. Hilton had publicly congratulated on Twitter moments before, calling Anderson a "longtime member of #blacktwitter." @desusnice's quip quickly earned responses and retweets from another Buzzfeed editor, Heben Nigatu, and a slew of users with more than 1,000 followers. Minutes later, @frazierapproves tweeted "The 13 people you meet at the barbershop #BlackBuzzfeed," which received 84 retweets and over 30 comments.
The trend was off and thousands of tweets, both from well-known "Black Twitter" members and others, were fired off Wednesday afternoon.
The hashtag brought back into the national Twitter conversation the idea of "Black Twitter," referring to a hyper-connected, enthusiastic and diffuse community of African-American Twitter users who latch onto online discussions about cultural issues (anything from the hit ABC show "Scandal" to the George Zimmerman trial) and turn the small exchanges into trending juggernauts by replying to each other — with gusto — using hashtags.
But as seen Wednesday, the loose conglomerate can spawn both hilarious online memes and fascinating dialogue by organizing the conversation with hashtags like "#wordsthatleadtotrouble ("We need to talk" was a popular answer) and Wednesday's breakout hit, "BlackBuzzfeed."
"It’s a little bit of subversion aimed at the media," Aisha Harris wrote for Slate. "And a reminder of the many different perspectives that lie outside of the 'mainstream.'"
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