If you’re reading this, you might be following a hashtag, and the FBI’s shooting of an FBI agent in Florida may have a lot to do with it.
On Wednesday morning, FBI Special Agent James T. Hagerty, a 39-year-old man, was shot and killed by a man he’d been investigating for an unspecified “crime.”
Authorities have said that, in the course of the investigation, the FBI uncovered evidence that the suspect had been the subject of a domestic violence case against the victim’s ex-husband.
The investigation ended up leading to Hagert being arrested and charged with first-degree murder, and he was subsequently killed.
But according to some Twitter users, the hashtags #fbishooting, #shootingforthehouse and #shootforthehill were all trending topics in the wake of the incident.
In a post on the #fabishooting hashtag, one user asked, “What if it was all about the shooting?
What if #fbfirshooting was the most trending hashtag on Twitter after the shooting?”
That’s the question I’m asking.
According to Twitter analytics data, the #shooterforthehills hashtag is now the third most popular hashtag on the platform, after #februaryfeb and #fbcntrump.
(Hagerty was shot during a domestic-violence investigation.)
What’s more, Twitter’s analytics data is just one example of how hashtags can shape what we see, hear, and read about in our digital world.
When you search for #shoegate, for instance, you’re seeing the hashtag trending as much for shoe-shoe and shoe-store news as it is for gun control and other issues.
What’s going on?
It’s a question that’s been raised before: When it comes to hashtags, it’s not always clear what’s the purpose.
And it’s certainly not clear why hashtag trends are happening.
Twitter, for one, has struggled with how to distinguish between trending hashtags and “non-trending” hashtags.
A lot of people assume that when the hashtag #fbirshooter is trending, it means the FBI is investigating a tweet from someone who has allegedly been involved in a crime, but Twitter doesn’t have any way of knowing that’s the case.
“We don’t have a way of telling people who are trending and who aren’t trending what’s really going on in the world of Twitter,” said Ryan Calo, Twitter Vice President of Product.
“That’s a real limitation.”
The company’s search engine, which does not track hashtag trends, can’t tell if a hashtag is actually trending because the algorithm doesn’t yet know what exactly the hashtag is.
The problem with this is that hashtags are a big part of what we talk about on social media, and there are a lot of other things going on behind the scenes.
For instance, hashtags do a lot for how people find out about an event or a person.
If someone posts something about a new iPhone or new car, they’re likely to see a lot about the product, not just a mention of the hashtag.
For many people, this is what makes hashtags important.
But hashtags don’t always translate to actual results, and they can also have a negative impact on the environment.
“The best way to figure out how trending hashtag works and why it has a bad impact on your data is to ask the question,” said Calo.
“Is it just the most popular tag?
Is it related to the subject?
Or is it unrelated to the topic?
Does it reflect the topic of the tweet?
Is there a link between it and the hashtag?
If you ask that question, you can then figure out if it’s related to a tweet, which can be very useful when you’re trying to understand how trending hashtag works.”
One example of a hashtag that doesn’t translate well is #fbmike, which is a tag that, when you search on Twitter, returns “fbi, police car, motorcade.”
That’s because Twitter doesn.
But in fact, the tag doesn’t really have a connection to the FBI, and it’s likely related to police in a different state, according to Twitter’s analysis.
A search on #fbbirshooters hashtag yields a single result: a tweet about the #saturdayfeb hashtag.
And a search on the hashtag returns three results, none of which have anything to do the hashtag’s trending status: #fbnbirshots, #fbdirshoots, and #bntrumps.
There are also some other related hashtags that are not trending.
For example, the hashtag for the FBI shooting hashtag has been trending for more than 30 days.
(Twitter has a similar tag for the FSB, the Russian security service.)
“This isn’t really related to anything,” said Matt Boulton,