At the risk of getting randomly harshed on by the Internet, I cannot keep quiet about my obsession with Late Night Black People Twitter, an obsession I know some of you other white people share, because it is awesome. The only reason that White People Twitter knows about Black People Twitter is because when you white people wake up on the East Coast or when you go to bed late on the West Coast, the trending topics are hilarious chat-memes, ruling the trending topics, and yes, last night’s was the very funny #uainthittinitright. There was even for a time a blog devoted to racist backlash to Black People Twitter that, unfortunately, stopped publishing this summer. See, now, MySpace and Facebook and (LOL) Friendster didn’t have anything to bring different worlds together. Your “social network” was only yours, and there wasn’t enough chaos in the system to bridge networks-you never know what’s going on outside your stupid little bubble. And Black People Twitter isn’t the noise in the signal that Twitter is trying to leach out-it’s huge, organic and it is seemingly seriously nocturnal. Except it’s really not.
A friend and I were talking the other day about why, in particular, Black People Twitter happens at night. In fact, it’s the other way around: White People Twitter for the most part happens during the American daytime. Black People Twitter happens all the time.
White geek Nick Douglas had a theory about Black People Twitter a while ago. His friend suggested “These people don’t have real Twitter friends. So they all respond to trending topics.” This is so obviously wrong. (“No, they have their own communities and their own friends that you are not paying attention to,” wrote Maria Diaz.) And then Douglas himself posted a great response to his poor dumb friend: “It’s the nature of how we craft these environments to suit our core comforts and fine tune our twitter experiences. Twitter’s addition of the trending topics bar has simply shattered our insulated perception of how everyone uses this thing.”
But seriously-talk about being in a bubble!-demographically, there is a greater proportion of black people than white people among the Internet-using population on Twitter: according to Pew, 26% of African-Americans online use Twitter; only 19% of white Internet people use Twitter. So really the question is: why does Twitter get so white and boring during the day? Don’t white people do anything at work?