Klout Topic Changes: the deletion of Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer.

Recently, Klout did away with the two main topics related to brain tumor awareness, “Brain Tumor” and “Brain Cancer.”  What follows is the email exchange that took place yesterday regarding the reasons for the deletion of these topics.  In essence, Klout says that the deletion occurred when they revamped the topic system and cleaned up and improved topics.  Klout further explains that it will not reinstate the topics at this time and cannot promise when, if ever, they will be reinstated.  Rather than explain why I think this is so horrible, I am providing the email correspondence in chronological order:

Original message message to Klout
NOV 20, 2012  |  07:39 AM PST 

Brain Tumor (& Tumor) are now missing from the topic list on Klout. Frankly, this change is deeply offensive to me and many others suffering from and impacted by Brain Tumors. The complete removal of the topic in painful to the Twitter brain tumor community. That community is devoted to raising awareness about the disease which has no known cure, no known cause, and is fatal, with some surviving their diagnosis by only 6 months or less. Just take a look at the hashtag #BrainTumorThursday and you will see passion tweeted. Thus, in the face of a critical cause to raise awareness about brain tumors and the urgent need for research funding, Klout has removed the topic which communicates that it is unimportant. Try convincing a parent that is about to lose a child to a brain tumor or a child that has lost his mother to a brain tumor.

In addition, I notice that the more generic topic of “tumor” has also been removed. For all I know, there my be other topics that no longer exist have been deleted as well.

Please move to immediately reinstate the topic Brain Tumor and also reinstate the numerous +Ks that have been awarded in the topic.

Response from Klout

NOV 20, 2012  |  11:30 AM PST

Hi there,

We apologize for the inconvenience. We have revamped our topic system and updated our topic database and cleaned up/improved topics that we felt needed some improvement. Unfortunately, some topics were removed from user’s profiles, such as brain tumor and the +K cannot be restored.

We’re always working to improve here at Klout and we are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused or frustrating experiences you may have with our product. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. We’re not currently adding topics back to Klout in a one off manner but I will take note of your suggestion to add brain tumor and tumor back for the future.

TumorWarrior reply to Klout

NOV 20, 2012  | 3:51 PM PST

I must admit that I am incredulous.  I’ve poked around a bit and find that the topic “Slightly Stoopid” remains.  How on earth could an improvement of Klout topics result in retaining slightly stoopid yet delete brain tumor and brain cancer.  A twitter search for slightly stoopid yields less than 20 tweets from November 14 until now.  If Klout does the same search for “brain tumor” there will be at least twice that many tweets in the last TWO hours.

Worse still, if you do a search for brain tumor right now on Klout the third entry is Humor.  I can assure you that there is nothing at all humorous about having a brain tumor.  I actually have a brain tumor and I will ultimately die from it.  In fact about 13,700 people will die from them in the US this year.  How could Klout possibly see fit to marginalize this deadly disease by relegating it to the trash heap of discard topics?  Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer are serious topics, how many inane topics remain on Klout?  Frankly, what rational person on this planet would care if someone is influential on the topic of slightly stoopid? or American idiot? or almost anything else imaginable.

The cruel irony of Klout removing Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer from its topics is that they are known as the “Orphan Cancer” because they are given little press and even less research funding, despite the fact that there is no known cause and no cure.  Brain Tumors are far more deadly than almost every other cancer and kill more children than pretty much anything else.  So the removal of the topics just further solidifies the status of brain tumors/cancer as the orphan cancer.  

I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t have to survey too many of your colleagues to find someone impacted by a brain tumor – a sibling, parent, friend, neighbor, etc.  Try telling them that it makes sense to cull brain tumor and brain cancer from the Klout topics.

Now in the end, whether Klout includes these topics or not may have little difference.  But I can tell you that I have spent hours and hours to develop a Klout profile that would add credibility to my social media campaign to raise brain tumor awareness.  My theory was that if Klout showed me to be influential or at least a top +K recipient, then people might actually listen.  I think I was getting close, but we will never know that now will we?  Klout has swept away a lot of work for a charitable cause by hitting the delete button.

I recognize and understand (but don’t have to like) the fact that, once removed, all +Ks related to a topic are gone.  However, the notion that Klout will “take note” and consider adding brain tumor and brain cancer at some future date is beyond understanding.  I need to be reinstated now, not when Klout decides to clean up its topics at some future unknown date.

The Klout website states:

Klout began with a very simple idea: Everyone has influence—the ability to drive action.  Klout built on this idea to show anyone how he or she can influence the world and its future.

Klout was founded in 2008 to empower everyone to unlock their influence. We come to work every day inspired to help people understand the power of their voices and democratize influence.

So where are those principles in this?  If Klout believes that it exists “to show anyone how he or she can influence the world and its future.”  What is Klout telling me and the rest of the Twitter brain tumor community?  That we cannot influence the world and its future?  That we can “unlock our influence” so long as it an area that Klout deems important?  How exactly is this counted as a way to democratize influence?

_________, I know this email is hard hitting and I certainly do not want to shoot the messenger.  As you can tell I am fiercely committed to this campaign.  So many people are hurting from and hurt by brain tumors it overwhelms me at times.  My passion bleeds though unfiltered.  I do hope that Klout can reinstate these two topics as soon as possible.  If I need to talk to others in your company, I will be happy to do so AND in a more calm fashion.  I do like Klout and what it is trying to do; I just take issue with the decisions made in this case.


9 thoughts on “Klout Topic Changes: the deletion of Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer.

  1. Heartfelt and hard hitting response to cold and calculating words from Klout. While I could not care less what my “score” might be, I understand its significance in your case. What you have done to raise awareness about brain tumors and brain cancer is admirable.

  2. Pingback: Klout Topic Changes: the deletion of Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer. « bewitchedinsalem

  3. Pingback: Klout Topic Changes: the deletion of Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer. « michellegilstrap

  4. I think I just built a house just from the nails I spit while I was reading this, he is a friend of mine, my god. Why don’t they just say DEATH is an unimportant topic yet they feel Chocolate, Coffee and so many ridiculous words are important? I say we start a petition, there is a site somewhere that does that for you and really helps in some important sites.

    I suppose if we all stopped using Klout, Twitter and the rest of the Social Media Group that obviously have no morals, they would have no choice but to listen to the very people that someday, you can bet your ass, will get an email that we now have to pay to use the service any longer!

    I have loved to hate Klout since day one and I know so many who agree. I would like to ask the idiot who thinks that this makes any sense. How do people, who have never signed up for Klout, have higher scores than those of us whom feel married to the F—–g company.

    I cannot imagine the torment a Brain Tumor causes the victim or the families but I do know what a Spinal Tumor does because I can hardly walk due to one.

    Can we just sit back and let this stand because this site says it is so? This is a FREE Country right? I for one will add this to the new site I am designing, I will find the owners of the domain for Klout.com, we all have a voice, let’s sue it!

    Sherri Hill

  5. Pingback: Klout Topic Changes: the deletion of Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer. | SEO, SMM | Scoop.it

  6. Pingback: Klout Topic Changes: the deletion of Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer. « Kvinto

  7. Dear #Klout! If you really use ontologies and scientific Knowledge Management approach – you must have Ontology Engineer and Domain Specialist and have no such errors. I think – they haven`t.

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