In June 2020, social media users started to share screenshots supposedly showing how U.S. President Donald Trump was the top result under the “People” section when searching for the term “racist” on Twitter:
This is a genuine screenshot of Twitter’s search results for the term “racist.”
When we searched for “racist” on Twitter and switched to the “People” tab, Trump’s account also appeared as the top result.
A spokesperson for Twitter told us that, “If an account is mentioned often alongside certain terms, they can become algorithmically surfaced together as a recommendation.”
In other words, Trump’s account has been mentioned alongside the word “racist” so often (either by critics calling the president “racist” or by defenders saying he is not “racist”), that Trump’s account rose to the top of the search results.