BET Awards Dominate Twitter, Causes Racist Backlash

Say what you will about the content of the BET Awards.  I tuned in late but monitored activity on Twitter last night and to be quite honest was surprised and pleased to see not only Twitter’s integration into the show but also the show dominating trending topics on Twitter.  They even used the awards show twitter account well, @betawards, engaging with the audience from time to time (though I would have like to see more of that).  It was true mobile reporting.  You may remember our coverage of BET’s Social Media game last year for the BET Awards which was comprised mostly of advertisements disguised as widgets.  Taking a look at what was done this year it is a huge improvement.  I know most of you all hate BET for many reasons however I’ll ask you to think about the last time a Black or Urban related trending topics dominated Twitter that did not have to do with a musicians death?


Exactly.  You’ll be hard pressed to find a similar scenario.  The BET Awards takeover on Twitter not only reflects the massive shift of audience demographic since Twitter has reached its tipping point it also shows the possibility of media brands when they integrate social media correctly.

While there was no shortage of haters on the outcome of the trending topics last night, most were related to the performances, many didn’t like the fact there was so much representation on trending topics.  It seems like whenever African-American topics dominate media there are always some unhappy campers.  Social Media is no different.  Within hours it spawned a site on Tumblr,  Tumblr has taken down the site since last night but the Twitter account @omgblackpeople is still alive and kicking.  Apparently many people on Twitter wanted trending topics to go back to what they were use to seeing, here’s a smidgen of what was on the site:


Mind boggling that in a day when so many people make the argument that the Internet is not race specific especially when it comes to sites with the name Black in it or that attempt to focus on that audience, things like this still exist.  It is a two-way street, in order for the Internet to truly be race agnostic society has to be first.  I am personally looking forward to seeing niche media companies take over Twitter and other social media outlets, it wasn’t long ago that there weren’t many of us there at all.

While traces of the awards show still linger on Twitter, Google is catching up with highlights from the show trending this morning on Google Trends.


Updated: Tumblr suspended the account because they consider the content that was on it hate speech.

Images provide by: Fredric Mitchell of Bright Plum

Disclosure:  Black Web 2.0 is the Technology Content provider to



Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it. You're a great blogger.

prom gowns says:

I really enjoyed reading this article.Thanks.

It is great surprise to me to see that not only the twitters integration onto the show but also the show dominating trending to topics on twitter.

rmcaldwell says:

I did write that, James. However, before I posted it, I'd written a comment detailing everything Markus stated. I still believe people are people but I also believe that in being “people,” we are most comfortable where we are welcomed. Please go to the other sites and invite them over here. Please challenge them in the same manner as you've challenged BlackWeb2.0. Better yet, create the site that is inclusive and that treats all intelligence as equal. Again, thank you for your comment.

jamesgooch says:

Funny how the comment agreeing with my message was deleted. While the comment missing the point is praised.

On another note your comment about “serving their market.” also seems to denote that mainstream media does not follow the achievements of black executives because it is not in their market? Really? A quick scan through any major news site will show they all exist and I am sure none of them would like the lessening of their achievements you offer them through the suggestion they could only be found here.

It is amazing that in a country so integrated with race and religion we would need an outlet for any one group of people to shine when as we all know great people of any color and any religion will shine regardless of publication or forum.

And here is that “missing” comment:

rmcaldwell wrote, in response to jamesgooch:

James, I agree, people are people.Thanks for your comments.

Link to comment:

rmcaldwell says:

Bravo, Markus!

We're not racist nor segregating. Our site does not and will not prevent anyone from reading writing or contributing. The difference between us and most other mainstream tech sites is simply the audience in which we target. The African-American US population is approx 12% and you would be hard press to find 1% the content covered by mainstream tech sites that even mention African-Americans owned sites or AA executives. Its as if they don't exist, and a quick scan through our site will prove that's not the case. Are mainstream sites racist or segregating… of course not. There's just serving a their market.

jamesgooch says:

I think this site is racist. Blackweb? Really? I suppose there shouldn't be a Whiteweb2.0 because all the internet is white? A bunch of self segregationists if you ask me. Is there any reason at all that a topic of discussion should be seen from a black perspective? Is that not inciting difference just in itself? People are people and the quicker everyone learns that the sooner media like this site as well as “BET” will be shown for the outlets of separation they are to all human beings.

Jam says:

I think we all notice here that racism doesn't really give positive results whether you are black or white, whether we use facebook, twitter or other social networking websites.. People are just sensitive in things like these so its better for us to ignore it and try to create positive things, stuffs that can help and motivate each one of us..

Lesson Learned huh!

siditty says:


The “I'm Asian” I can't be racist bull doesn't work here. Are you familiar with Kenneth Eng, Mr. “I Hate Black People”?

You are free to express your opinion. When you post that opinion on a public forum, such as twitter, you shouldn't be shocked when there is a response, especially when you made a racist tweet. So when you tweet your opinion, folks have the right to respond. Keep your racism private, no one will say anything.

siditty says:


The “I'm Asian” I can't be racist bull doesn't work here. Are you familiar with Kenneth Eng, Mr. “I Hate Black People”?

You are free to express your opinion. When you post that opinion on a public forum, such as twitter, you shouldn't be shocked when there is a response, especially when you made a racist tweet. So when you tweet your opinion, folks have the right to respond. Keep your racism private, no one will say anything.

sparklepants says:

@Lisa – you made a public posting in a public forum. Anyone following the trends or doing a search could find what you said. You can voice your opinion all you want, but just like with any kind of public posting or public announcement (verbal), you have to expect that someone's going to respond.

rmcaldwell says:

Well, alrighty! @ Lisa… lol
Angela, amazing observations and an amazing report. I follow some well known “social media experts” and they were not at all pleased with Twitters trending topics. These are the same people who touted the use of Twitter as a great social networking tool. Did they mean it was only great within their ranks or circles? I get that impression. Those trending topics hold a wealth of qualitative information in regard to what interests users-all users, if only the experts “listened” to the messages the trends reveal. In fact, @brighteyesjulie found an interesting use of those trends: Web property valuation. Wow!

Writingprincess says:

While I do not agree with hatin' on race on Twitter I could understand why anyone looking at the BET Awards would have been appalled at the disturbingly vast array of ignorance manifested last night. How embarrassing that a genius such as Michael Jackson had to be sandwiched in between the likes of “Soul ja…” Lil Wayne and all the other inarticulate fools that graced the stage last night. It's no wonder I do not listen to black radio anymore. I can't afford to lose any more of my brain cells to the trash that masquerades for talent these days. I don't hate on black. I just hate on black ignorance. Please someone tell me why this type of ignorant music is still popular? And Mary and Mary didn't ease my pain either as I noticed I couldn't tell the difference between their hook and “Blame it On the Alcohol….” The words – which you couldn't hear, really the diction was so horrible – may have been different but the beat was the same.
Revisiting the genius of Michael Jackson en requiem made me realize how far we came with him and how much we have regressed. Lord help us all.

Lisa says:

I found this very wrong.
I was made part of this “list” when I made a tweet about the trending topics. All the personalities that were on the topics were musicians, which I'm not a fan of. I did not even make it in any way, shape or form, made to be twisted around for everyone to interpret it as racist. What the twitterers said that we're featured on this entry, is very wrong and is not a joking matter. I am appalled that I was on this list, and how much hate I got for it. It doesn't matter whether you're white, black, asian, hispanic, or whatever, I'm just not a fan of the type of MUSIC. I found this so wrong because this is MY twitter account, where I should be able to voice MY opinions, what I'm doing, and how I feel. I am SO against racism, I'm asian…you don't think I never get that? But with all the hate mail I'm getting, I'm beginning to think this is a joke. And with reply to the person above me…it seems like omgblackepeople wasn't trying to “shed light” on racist twits, I think someone got bored and wanted to put some of us through hell….thanks.

Go ahead, follow me, give me more crap for being a human being with HUMAN OPINIONS.

based on that reply you must be “#omgblackpeople”

What do you expect? It comes with the territory. From the viewing of their tweets they are not really that bright between the ear lobes either so no lost to civilization. I am more worried for their children and their children's children to be exact. Not a fan of traditionalist conservatism(traditionalism) and thats the root of the problem. That and uncompassionate people like those twitter nincompoops.

name says:

i think youre mising the point. omgblackpeople was trying to shed light on the racist twitter haterisms, not perpetuating it.

MyzDevyneOne says:

The mess that a few folks of the lighter persuasion were posting about the trending topics was like salt in an already gaping wound. So lemme get it straight…we have to put up with the coonery and buffonery of the BET Awards, and then cause we are talking about it via Twitter,we have some racist fools talking smack!?! Talk about a huge whammy…sheesh.

Mika says:

im speechless and a bit pissed alot pissed off. I want to say that this was a VERY GOOD and BRILLIANT report. Wonderful observations. Excellent Job, Angela

great catch. oddly, the tumbler site (as of this comment) is still down. conspiracy?

although i would say that the comments from the twitterverse weren't COMPLETELY surprising, i am trying to keep it in perspective.

just as we (read: black folks) don't like having a few ignorant negroes (read: soulja boy, t-pain) represent all of us, a relatively few non-black people complaining about trending topics shouldn't push us to make the conclusion that the entire community is racist.

whats lost in this little story is the reason why them cats were top trending topics: hella #blck folks were airing their grievances of just how effing embarrassing that shite was last night….

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