Twitter’s anti-porn filters have blocked Dominic Cummings’ name despite Boris Johnson’s chief adviser dominating British political news for almost a week, the Guardian can reveal.
As a result of the filtering, trending topics over the past five days have instead included a variety of misspellings of his name, including #cummnings, #dominiccummigs and #sackcummimgs, as well as his first name on its own, the hashtag #sackdom, and the place names Durham, County Durham and Barnard Castle.
The filter also affects suggested hashtags, meaning users who tried to type #dominiccummings were instead presented with one of the misspelled variations to auto-complete, helping them trend instead.
This sort of accidental filtering has gained a name in computer science: the Scunthorpe problem, so-called because of the Lincolnshire town’s regular issues with such censorship.
Bizarrely, the shortened hashtag #cumgate has also trended, since the first word of the sentence is not included in Twitter’s filter list,
Might be a bit of time before AIs actually rule the world….