Attitudes about Hashtags (#Attitudes #Hashtags)

There's been a kerfluffle about use of hashtags on Twitter. Some feel that if the exact, specific hashtag is not used, it is somehow harmful, a bad thing. To wit, if #BlackLivesMatter is used, not #BLM or #BLMmarchSunday or perhaps an even more specific hashtag with a location or an event, the result is negative, not positive. The intended goal, they feel, the good, is not achieved.

This may just escalate into its own side battle. A Twitter foofaraw. I choose that word carefully. defines it as "a great fuss or disturbance about something very insignificant."

Were I to write this on Twitter, it might incite just such a foofaraw.

These petty arguments create a distraction. Perhaps the root of this is pent up frustration. The larger matter so upsetting, so critical, that these smaller annoyances trigger a disproportionate response, which then take on a life of their own. Sadly, this diverts attention and energy from the main issue.

All of the above arose from a discussion in a closed Facebook group. I entered a long reply, and a colleague urged me to post it in my blog, and maybe on LinkedIn, too. If I get good response, I might put it on Medium, as well.  Comments welcome.  Here's what she recommended I make more public:

1. Twitter can be a powerful tool. But it also may be a tool that accomplishes nothing. Or it can look one way but be another. Example: a world leader has what looks like an astounding number of followers. But yet it turns out that a very high percentage of those followers are bots.

2. Righteousness about hashtags? Oops. Typo. #Righteousness about hashtags? Oops, another typo. Let me fix that. Here goes. #Righteousness about #hashtags? Damn! I just can’t quite get it right. One more try. Righteousness about #hashtags? (whew!) unless true harm is done, WTF? People use Hashtags to make a #point. To #stress a word or #adjective, a #movement, a #political bent. Or even something they adore. #Yankees

3. On that note, let’s say those idiots who run baseball - oops, I mean #baseball. Wait! I mean #MLB - decide to give the #WorldSeries the “official” hashtag (or is that #hashtag?) of #DecemberBaseball2020”. (based in the progress of the negotiations at this point) if baseball #enthusiasts like me were to use hashtags such as #FallClassic or #WorldChampionship or the horrid #BaseballsBest would that be a bad thing? Well, yeah, that last one qualifies as a #BadThing.

4. Hashtags can be used for humor or maliciously. Or both. Such as mentioning the commissioner of Major League Baseball (aka, #mlb) as #clueless or #arrogant or the extremely long, eats up a lot of those characters, #HarvardNotBaseballAthleteCommissionerManfred (a perfect hashtag in my view). Or, say, the #OrangeDanger or #BenedictDonald or #MoscowMitch.

5. Hashtags used to promote or show alliance or support, whether out of what some might perceive as ignorance, are still in league with that which they support. Be it #BLM or #BlackLivesMatter or #Icantbreathe it’s still a measure of support.

6. If a **specific** event gets a hashtag it then becomes the duty of those who created it to publicize the hashtag they’ve associated with it. There’s no good done, no benefit, throwing shade on those who “misuse” some other hashtag in its place.

I added to that, in a sub-comment, that re-tweets with a comment are a good way to get the orignal, desired hashtag out there, and further the message.

Excuse me, I meant the #message.


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