On Gandhi Jayanthi #Godse Zindabad trends on Twitter

New Delhi: 135 Crore Indians woke up to celebrate 151st birth Anniversary of Gandhi Ji today, but several were left aghast to witness #NathuramGodseZindabad trending on Twitter.

A Hindu nationalist, Godse assassinated Gandhi on January 30, 1948, at New Delhi’s Birla House, which is now Gandhi Smriti. Godse had shot three bullets into Gandhi’s chest in the presence of thousands of people. He was hanged in 1949.

Here’s how the Twitter Trends work –

The Twitter Trends algorithm is based on multiple factors and is “tailored” for based on who the users follow, their interests, and location.

As per Twitter, “This algorithm identifies topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter. The number of Tweets that are related to the trends is just one of the factors the algorithm looks at when ranking and determining trends”.

Data scientist Gilad Lotan has a different version of explaination: “This algorithm favours sharp spikes rather than gradual sustained growth, and the trends are hence determined by a combination of volume and how much time it takes to create volume.

So if there are a lot of tweets using a certain hashtag within a small space of time, it will start trending. When this activity is happening at a time when other trends are not prominent, like early in the morning, there is a high chance the hashtag becomes a top trend too.

Here’s what happened on early morning of October 2

On October 2, starting around 5 am – before Indian could wake up to celebrate Gandhi Jayanthi- there was a spike in the number of tweets using the #नाथूराम_गोडसे_जिंदाबाद hashtag, as analysed on keyhole.co.

This was at least an hour before the #MahatmaGandhi tweets started gaining momentum. And though #MahatmaGandhi is tweeted almost on a daily basis, Twitter’s algorithm gave weightage to the spike of #नाथूराम_गोडसे_जिंदाबाद.

On Friday, over 90,000 tweets had used #नाथूराम_गोडसे_जिंदाबाद by 1 pm. As of 4:30 PM the trend has 112K (One lakh twelve thousand) tweets.

One of the first tweets that started the trend was from @vishalurl at 1.50 am, getting over a thousand retweets and 3.5K quote tweets in under 12 hours.

Among the handles that helped amplify the hashtag, the most prominent was that of *@Harvansh_Batra* who retweeted scores of tweets with #नाथूराम_गोडसे_जिंदाबाद to his 63,000-plus followers, showed the analytics tool tweetbinder.com.

At least five other handles with over 20,000 followers showed a similar behaviour, helping the hashtag trend. Verified handles do not seem to have helped the trend.

While #नाथूराम_गोडसे_जिंदाबाद was trending in multiple locations across India, there were locations like Kerala where it was not prominent. In Kolkata, meanwhile, another hashtag, #नाथूराम_गोडसे_अमर_रहे (Nathuram Godse amar rahe) was trending with over 18,000 tweets, the Indian Express reported.

By 1 pm, #GandhiJayanti and #MahatmaGandhi were the top trends with over 1,00,000 tweets each.

On this Gandhi Jayanthi we recollect a couplet by renowned Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, which also complements the arrests of JNU students over anti-CAA protests:

is sādgī pe kaun na mar jaa.e ai ḳhudā

laḌte haiñ aur haath meñ talvār bhī nahīñ