This story is a political minefield and one that Twitter did not want to be headline news.
Twitter users discovered if you search for the term ‘bisexual’ under standard Twitter search, it works fine, but then, when you search for the term under photos and videos you see no results.
Twitter has announced that the omission was due to an error with the search results, however, activist groups are crying foul, saying that Twitter has tried to silence them due to the term being hypersexualised in the porn industry.
Advocacy group ‘The Bisexual Index’ told the BBC Newsbeat that people that identify as bisexual have:
“historically been hypersexualised and associated with porn and promiscuity”.
“Every bi-activist knows the problems of trying to search for bi-content on the web and some public wifi systems block it altogether, even when it’s nothing to do with sex, because bisexual is seen as a dodgy word in itself.
“This is why Twitter needs to be very sensitive to any filtering that reduces access to bi content, and very aware of the problem of bisexual erasure.”
I think the last quote from The Bisexual Index sums it up. This is a political minefield for Twitter. While understandably, they are trying to keep Twitter a purely PG affair by removing explicit material, a blanket ban on a term such as bisexual can be harmful as it unfairly discriminates against a portion of society.
The key for me is how quickly Twitter resolve the issue and what steps they take going forward to address the issue