Millions of people use Twitter every day, and the search function can be a useful tool to see what people are talking about outside of your personal TL. This past weekend, however, people began to notice that Twitter didn't display photos, news, or video that had been tagged #bisexual, though Tweets were still visible. On Nov. 5, the social media service released a statement explaining that a bug had caused the outage on the Twitter support feed. "[S]earches for certain words related to sexuality did not populate complete results. We apologize for anyone negatively impacted by this bug," they tweeted. The thread continued,
Many of these words on the list are not inherently explicit, which is why they must be used alongside other signals to determine if content is sensitive. Our implementation of this list in search allowed Tweets to be categorized based solely on text, without taking other signals into account. Also, the list was out of date, had not been maintained and incorrectly included terms that are primarily used in non-sensitive contexts.
As of Nov. 7, a "no results found" screen still came up when searching for the hashtag #bisexual on the photos, news, or videos tabs on Twitter. People can find tweets mentioning bisexuality, but no other kinds of content. And everyday users and advocates from within the LGBTQ community were furious at how this glitch appeared to play into harmful stereotypes about bisexuality — even though it was only a bug.