If you're on Twitter, this is an experiment: write "Enemy of the people" in a tweet through the Twitter web client, then see if it suggests an account to automatically tag. For a large number of users (if not all), this makes the The New York Times & # 39; & # 39; On twitter. At first glance, it seems a rather strange attack on Times – and it's something a number of journalists and other users have realized this afternoon.  It is not illogical to think that the algorithm of Twitter has established a disturbing link between one of President Donald Trump's favorite phrases and one of the objectives to which he throws it most frequently. But the real problem is apparently less damning and more confusing: Twitter seems to suggest the Times for almost any phrase that ends with the uppercase word "People."
In the world of Twitter, The New York Times is the enemy of the people . He is also the friend of the people. And if you mention the bands Foster the People or Village People, Twitter is pretty sure that really you want to tweet about the Gray Lady.
We are not sure what precise link Twitter is drawing between @NYTimes and "People". Its self-supporting system is generally a little opaque, and this could be an absolute error or an oblique association based on something in the profile Times . (To make things even more confusing, it also seems that Twitter links Times with the word "Sanders"). We've contacted Twitter to get more details, but for now, it's just one of the inscrutable mysteries of the algorithm.
Update 7:15 PM, Eastern Time: Twitter confirmed in a statement to The Verge that the connection of "People" is a kind of technical problem. "This is an error in our search system limited to the desktop that we are working to solve," said a spokesman. "The problem is that for some search queries, the word & # 39; People & # 39; is linked to & # 39; @ NYTimes & # 39;". So, although we still do not know why the search system works in this way, we do know that it is supposed to be working in a different way.