MEDIA
01/25/2017 11:24 pm ET

People Searched 'A**hole' On Twitter And Came Up With Donald Trump

It was fun while it lasted!
SAUL LOEB via Getty Images

Well before Donald Trump won his bid to be the president of the United States, he established himself as the Troll King of Twitter. And it looks like his years of tweeting insults, conspiracy theories and excessive displays of narcissism earned him some recognition on the social media site.

On Wednesday, the Twitterverse noticed that when you search for “asshole” on Twitter, none other than Donald Trump shows up first in the results.

The same happened with several other words, including “fascist,” “racist” and “bigot.”

Twitter users also noticed that certain keywords brought up other high-profile politicians. For example, searching for “leader” led to former President Barack Obama’s profile and “corrupt” pulled up Hillary Clinton’s profile.

The Huffington Post tested the search feature Wednesday evening and, alas, we also pulled Trump’s profile when searching for “asshole” and “racist.”

But the search feature mysteriously stopped pulling up the same results later in the evening.

Screenshot Taken by HuffPost on Wednesday at 9:39 p.m EST.

A Twitter search for "asshole" pulled up Donald Trump's profile at 9:39 p.m EST Wednesday.
Twitter/Screenshot
A Twitter search for "asshole" pulled up Donald Trump's profile at 9:39 p.m EST Wednesday.

Screenshot taken by HuffPost on Wednesday at 10:21 p.m. EST.

By 10:21 p.m. EST, a Twitter search for "asshole" pulled up zero profiles.
Twitter/Screenshot
By 10:21 p.m. EST, a Twitter search for "asshole" pulled up zero profiles.

Twitter did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment on the keyword “asshole” bringing up Trump’s profile and the change in later search results.

However, the search results may be a product of Twitter’s algorithms, which recognize certain keywords that are often mentioned together in tweets ― for example, “Donald Trump is an asshole.” The search then pulls up relevant profiles or tweets that have been associated with that specific search term. (See a rundown of Twitter’s search feature here.)

“A person’s behaviour on Twitter provides an invaluable source of relevance information,” Lisa Huang, Twitter senior software engineer, explained in a December blog post.

“Using this information, we can train machine learning models that predict how likely a Tweet is to be engaged with (Retweets, likes and replies). We can then use these models as scoring functions for ranking by treating the probability of engagement as a surrogate for the relevance of Tweets.”

Still, the search results for “asshole” ceased pulling up Trump’s Twitter profile after word of the trick went viral, perhaps because it violated Twitter’s search rules.

Screenshot from the "<a href="https://support.twitter.com/articles/42646" target="_blank">search rules and restrictions</a>"
Twitter's official support website
Screenshot from the "search rules and restrictions" section on Twitter's Support website. 

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

HuffPost

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