Posted by: selenasierra | November 27, 2017

The Hashtag Turned 10

“Media ecology and hashtag activism: #Kaleidoscope,” by Crandall and Cunningham, uses a kaleidoscope as a metaphor to examine activism through hashtags. Through media ecology, possible results of engaging in this hashtag activism are analyzed. I had a hard time remembering various social media without the hashtag; so I looked up! According to CNET, it turned 10 years old this year, 2017.

Hashtags have the power to bring together conversations, serious and not. We have seen an influx in hashtags being used in an attempt to bring about social change. Before the internet and hashtag, organizing movements would have taken days to arrange. Now, with the hashtag, responses to movements or protests are down to a matter of minutes; all it takes are retweets or reposts.

I believe social media is a catalyst for change. Users respond to world events via social media to stand with others during a tragedy or bring attention to specific movements. It is a great way for us to find like-minded people quicker and allows for faster congregation. It even allows those that are physically unable to leave their home to still partake in forms of activism and not be limited by their inability to be physically present.

“A Digital Activism study conducted by Cone Communications reported 75% of Millennials uses social media to discuss issues they care about. The same study also found that 58% of Americans considers tweeting information about issues an effective form of advocacy or support.” [] Critics may say that digital activism doesn’t create tangible results. One perfect example of “tangible results” is #ALSIceBucketChallenge. It raised over $100 million for ALS research. Hashtag activism allows for open dialogue on important topics; dialogue is a huge, important first step.



  1. The “Hashtag” (#) was first used they way it is currently being used in social media today on Twitter back in 2007, and just 3 years ago, Hashtag became the word for the year according to the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee. It was in the same year that a baby was also named, “Hashtag” (smh).

    The important role the use of hashtags have played in social media for the past decade has been game-changing. I agree with the author that It has furthered social movements, allowed for the public discussion of sensitive topics, the exchange of ideas between like-minded and opposing mindsets of various individuals and groups, and it has truly made the world smaller and more accessible as it has made unreachable individuals such as celebrities and politicians within fingertip’s reach.

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