When Russia takes over Twitter

Medvedev sending his first (curse-free) tweet.</p>

Medvedev sending his first (curse-free) tweet.

Twitter today rolled out hashtags in the Cyrillic alphabet that the Russian language uses. What better way to celebrate than by shouting “d@#k” from the rooftops? That’s basically what the Russian Twitterverse did.

For several hours today, jubilant Russian Twitter users catapulted a very popular, if very indecent, Russian word to the very top of Twitter’s worldwide trending hashtags. As one person I follow so delicately put it: “Plural of the Russian three-letter swear name for the male reproductive organ makes it to the top of the worldwide trends in Twitter.” Russians rejoiced – they had MADE it! Foreign users were confused. The most popular formulation being that it was a new Russian bomb or a weird Russian hello to Obama. Russians loved this one: “What is #хуи actually? I notice it's been on trending for hours. Is it a chemical formula or anything else?”

As morning rose in the US and evening settled upon Moscow, the word faded from popularity, replaced by important events like the blasts in Mumbai, or the arrest of Rodney King, or by, I dunno why, #yeahright. But for a few hours today, Russia was king. Go on, pat yourselves on the back, Pushkin would be proud.

Medvedev, for the record, did not take part.