Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

Why are Kyle and Jackie O still on Twitter’s Suggested User List?

2Day FM is the flagship station of Australian radio network Austereo, and among its star attractions are morning presenters Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O. Well, they used to be star attractions, except they were pulled off the air “indefinitely” after an on-air stunt went badly wrong on the morning of Wednesday 29th July.

In an even-more-vulgar-and-crass-than-typical show, Kyle and Jackie O strapped a 14 year old girl to a lie detector — in the presence of her willing mother — and began firing a barrage of very personal questions at the clearly very uncomfortable child. The ABC reports:

When her mother asked if she was sexually active the girl replied: “I’ve already told you the story about this … and don’t look at me and smile because it’s not funny”.

After the distressed teenager revealed she has been raped as a 12-year-old, radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands responded by saying: “Right, is that the only experience you’ve had?” before the interview was brought to an end.

Not surprisingly, both presenters, the radio network Austereo and the mother have all been “torn to shreds” in the Australian media. The Kyle and Jackie O show has not returned to the air. According to an Austereo spokesperson:

…following a great deal of consideration and having consulted Jackie O and all stakeholders, Austereo has formed the view that it is in the interest of all parties, for the Kyle and Jackie O Show to go into recess until we have completed an across-the-networks review of the principals (sic) and protocols of our interaction with our audience. This review commenced last Wednesday, July 29.

What’s this got to do with Twitter?

On my best estimates, it was June 20th when Twitter added their first Australians to their Suggested User List (SUL). In case you’re wondering, that’s a list of Twitter accounts that have been chosen for special attention, and from which as many as 250 are (randomly ?) drawn and presented to every new Twitter registrant. The newcomer to Twitter is invited to follow this list of 20 Twitter “exemplar” users from a wider list of perhaps-close-to-300 Twitter accounts which make up the Suggested User List.

So, yeah, it was around the 20th of June when I noticed the first Aussie Twitter account added to that list — and as far as I can tell, still the only Aussies. Who? Wouldn’t-ya-know… Kyle and Jackie O, boasting the delightfully enticing bio:

Australia’s #1 radio show who always get into trouble coz of what they say on twitter! U were warned:-)

Under their own steam, Kyle and Jackie O managed to get their Twitter following up to the very impressive figure of 85,000, but since June 20th have grown by something like 11,000 followers per day to today’s stellar total of 361,852 followers!

Make no mistake: that kind of growth on Twitter is typically explained by only one thing: the account is on Twitter’s Suggested User List.

Get them off the list, Twitter!

I for one am particularly unimpressed with Twitter — that Kyle and Jackie O’s account remains on the SUL. San Francisco ain’t that far from Sydney. Or do Twitter seriously not monitor what the people behind their so-called examplar SUL accounts are doing? How can Twitter not know about the massive media storm we’ve had down here in Oz?!

What am I not seeing here?? Either Twitter hasn’t heard about Kyle and Jackie O’s “banning”, or they have heard about it, but don’t think it’s a big enough deal to have their Twitter account’s privileged position on the SUL revoked. And I for one would love Biz, Ev or one of the team to clarify their position. Anyone there, lads?


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  1. Posted 10 years ago // Permalink

    Frankly, I’m more concerned that Kyle and Jackie O made it on that list to begin with. It really says something about the selection criteria.

    Like you suggested, Alister, I really don’t think the powers-that-be at Twitter have the slightest idea what Kyle and Jackie O have gotten themselves into. You would like to think that, if it was brought to their attention, that they would distance themselves from the shock-jock pair, for whom pushing the line of “good” taste was going to tip them over it sooner rather than later.

  2. Posted 10 years ago // Permalink

    Hey Alister — it’s my understanding that they were actually taken off the SUL the same week that the scandal occurred…at least that’s what I was told by my contact there when i gave him a heads-up about it.


  3. Posted 9 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    When was it that Twitter become a moral compass for society? Really, what’s the whole point of this?

    A previous article of yours highlighted that twitter isn’t really a social network and is basically a means to “blast messages out to a group of “followers”” (which I totally agree with). It is my impression the SUL is just a selection of popular and largely followed members and not high watermarks for society. If anything they should remain on the list as they are most likely now more famous than ever.

    Twitter is not and never was about high quality content. The SUL seems to me to be all about name dropping as a means to market Twitter. So really, what does it matter as long as its all gaining media?

  4. Posted 9 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    These people are a disgrace to our country. Get them off the twitter list and keep them off the air.

  5. Posted 9 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    I really don’t know how the mother could have agreed to all this. i think the fault is primarily hers, because she let her daughter humiliate herself in public and live on TV and she just stood by and watched. what the hell was wrong with her?

  6. Chrissy
    Posted 9 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    Wow that young girl needs a lawyer so she can send the mother and the other 2 somewhere where they can reflect on their stupidity which was only to gain themselves some attention. As for Twitter, I’m learning more and more about them everyday – these comments were interesting. I will digg this topic.

  7. Posted 9 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    Yeah… they need to be off of any social platform! Free press has it’s limits you know.

  8. Posted 9 years, 9 months ago // Permalink

    Social medias like twitter is an effective way of advertising your products and services to your followers. Twitter is an awesome tool that even Hollywood superstars, famous athletes and rock stars use them to update their fan base which is of course directs to their websites if necessary.

  9. Posted 9 years, 9 months ago // Permalink

    Frankly, I’m more concerned that Kyle and Jackie O made it on that list to begin with. It really says something about the selection criteria.

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