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Why isn’t Cummings all over Twitter’s sacred trending box? Blame heavy handed porn filters

Dominic Cummings’ face has been splashed all over Twitter for the past week or so, but peculiarly, despite his name being mentioned in tens of thousands of tweets, it just won’t seem to trend on the site.

Instead, a wide range of apparent Cummings typos have trended on Twitter, including #cummnings and #cummimgs.

Read more: 13 classic shows you need to watch on iPlayer while in lockdown

The curiosity hasn’t gone unnoticed, and Twitter found itself in a sticky situation over the weekend when some users speculated that the site had been deliberately blocking the name of Prime Minister Johnson’s chief adviser, in order to protect him.

According to The Guardian though, the reality is far simpler, and far funnier. Anti-porn filters are apparently responsible for the distinct lack of Cummings in Twitter’s trending box.

It’s a classic example of the so-called Scunthorpe Problem, a term that was coined in 1996 when AOL’s heavy handed filters took objection to prospective users who said they were based in the town of Scunthorpe, which of course contains within it a word that many people consider to be the naughtiest of all.

See also: Clitheroe, Lightwater, and Sussex, Horniman Museum, Super Bowl XXX, and Tyson Homosexual. Apple very nearly made the same mistake with the horribly named iPadOS too.

Twitter, sadly for all of us, has not revealed the list of words that its anti-porn filter has been told to block, but bizarrely it decided not to stop #cumgate from doing the rounds, which suggests that the present participle is spicier than the noun. That said, I’m yet to see #cumsack appear prominently.

Related: How to delete your Twitter account permanently

Can you think of any tech-related examples of the Scunthorpe Problem? Let us know on Twitter (if the site allows you to), mentioning @TrustedReviews.

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