Dear oh dear. The well-loved and well-respected actress Mollie Sugden has died, aged 86. In tribute to Ms. Sugden’s most famous character, Mrs. Slocombe, and to the constant running jokes about her pet pussy cat Tiddles, Jonathan Ross sent out a tweet encouraging one and all to use the Twitter hashtag #MrsSlocombesPussy in their tweets. Unbelievably rude, but also staggeringly apt! However, Twitter has decided (perhaps algorithimically) not to display search results for that hashtag: that, in and of itself, is somewhat disappointing. The hashtag became so immediately popular it appeared in Twitter’s list of trending topics, dominated in recent days by topics like Michael Jackson, and Glastonbury.

What’s more disappointing, however, is how US technology gossip blogs TechCrunch and Mashable dealt with this information. They considered it an attempt to poison the trending topics list with spam, neither bothering for an instant before publication to check and see if perhaps it was legitimate in some way.

Both sites have since been put right by blog commenters, and they’ve updated their posts to reflect that, but their knee jerk reaction was to condemn the tag as spam. $deity forbid that a territory outwith the US with a better sense of humour, and with less instinct to consider mild double entendres as nasty in some way, would gather up the power to invade the hallowed Temple of Twitter’s Trending Topics.

The blogs’ concerns were that the system could be gamed, but are we saying that those clicking through the trending topics list are stupid, and can’t tell the difference between targeted spam, and legitimate trends?