Twitter users noticed Saturday night that a hashtag named “Redbox To Mexico” began trending on Twitter despite the tag having no tweets whatsoever, raising concerns that Twitter HQ is tampering with the platform’s trending hashtags.
This is the second time that the hashtag #RedboxToMexico has mysteriously appeared in Twitter’s trending list with users first reporting the empty hashtag back in September. Hashtags are only supposed to appear in the trending list if they achieve a certain level of popularity and activity.
"Redbox to Mexico" is trending and nothing is there pic.twitter.com/3mA3Zookpv
— Rusty (@zeroograv) September 3, 2016
@zeroograv It is probably a glitch that made Redbox To Mexico Tweets to disappear
— Ferret (@FerretHero) September 3, 2016
Twitter provided no explanation for the hashtag in September but it quickly fell off the trending topics section, until early Saturday night when the hashtag, again completely devoid of any tweets or content, appeared as the 11th highest trending topic on Twitter.
Redbox to Mexico is lit pic.twitter.com/NqHWKsBPNw
— Rich Homie Chris (@ChrisInCPort) October 29, 2016
Many people became suspicious, some questioning whether or not the hashtag was designed to be a hit piece on Donald Trump.
"Redbox to Mexico" is trending, with no Tweets. If it turns out to be a NYT hit on Trump, I want $5.
— THE Chris Coon (@Coondawg68) October 29, 2016
Others blamed Twitter staff implying that the hashtag was directly created by them.
"Redbox to Mexico" first vine, now fabricating tweets and then deleting them
— Parker Delmoe (@TikkleMeDelmoe) October 29, 2016
Breitbart Tech has reached out to Twitter for comment on the issue but has received no comment at this time.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart Tech covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org