Why Is A Lincoln Promoted Tweet Linked To Hashtag About An African War Lord?

Illustration for article titled Why Is A Lincoln Promoted Tweet Linked To Hashtag About An African War Lord?

The #Kony2012 hastag was huge last year thanks to a viral campaign to bring notorious African warlord and child army leader Joseph Kony to justice. But if you search that on Twitter now, you just get a bunch of joke tweets. And a promoted post from the Lincoln Motor Company. Wait, what?

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Last night I saw a Tweet that had the #Kony2012 tag, so I decided to give the it a click and see who was still tweeting with this. I was willing to bet that it would all be jokes, or at the very least attempts at jokes.

As I expected, the hashtag has now morphed from a serious cause to people making jokes or using the hashtag totally out of context. But the top tweet listed was a promoted one from our friends at the beleagured Lincoln Motor Company.

Illustration for article titled Why Is A Lincoln Promoted Tweet Linked To Hashtag About An African War Lord?

It only appeared the first time I searched the tag, then it disappeared. The same thing happened for other people I insisted try the search to confirm I hadn't lost it. 

I sent Lincoln an email to ask why it was appearing with this hashtag, and, if they didn't know, it was also to let them know that hey, your promoted tweet is linked to a hashtag about the leader of a child army. Lincoln has yet to respond.

Lincoln has only been on Twitter for a few short months, and in that time they have produced a questionable crowd sourced Super Bowl ad and are now linked to a hashtag that has nothing to do with cars and close to nothing to do with anything anymore. If they chose to be linked to the tag, it's a strange choice. If Twitter assigned it to them, it's something they should probably get changed.

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Jimmy Fallon is to blame for the first one. I wonder if he had any part in the second?

UPDATE: So apparently it has something to do with the algorithms Twitter uses to send out promoted tweets, which makes a lot of sense. Twitter thought I'd find this interesting, and apparently thought the five or six other people I asked would too. Still, seems strange to have any ads appear on hashtag pages like this one.

DISCUSSION

trx0x
trx0x

i think you need to read the support page regarding Twitter Promoted Tweets.

Promoted Tweets aren't linked to hashtags, they are linked to the current user's activity on Twitter. if you, say, always tweet about hot dogs, and retweet hot dog related material, i'm sure if you do a search for something unrelated like "#swimmingisawesome", an Oscar Meyer tweet will show up somewhere in your search, possibly at the very top of the list. that doesn't mean that Oscar Meyer really likes swimming.