Twitter's Trending Topics list may not display the most talked about terms after all, as reports indicate that the micro-blogging site is censoring posts that it deems inappropriate.
Twitter introduced the trends list in March to offer users a glimpse of the top 10 topics discussed on Twitter at any given time.
But on Thursday night a large number of Twitter users pushed out three indecent sexual terms that were listed in Twitter's third-party applications, such as TwitScoop and Hashtags, but did not appear in Twitter's Trending list.
The three words actually vanished from Twitter for a period of time, according to a report in ReadWriteWeb, although a search now brings back the results.
Users have accused Twitter before of censoring posts, and complained when posts containing explicit words have disappeared from their Twitter stream.
The firm could not immediately provide comment on why it was censoring content, although the likelihood is that Twitter wants to maintain its growing appeal to business users and individuals that use Twitter for legitimate purposes.
The Trending Topics list has been exploited since its launch. Spammers use the topics in their Tweets so that anyone who clicks on the list sees their advert.
The news comes as an independent advisory group to the European Commission is about to publish a report outlining the need for more regulation of social networks.
Proposals by the Article 29 Working Group, which has representatives from all European Union member states, include the introduction of greater regulation for individuals and companies that use social networking sites for marketing purposes.
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