When something is trending these days it points towards more than a fashionable fad. Hashtags are the very symbol of what is trending and have the inconceivable power to turn a simple thought or phrase into social phenomenon.
We’ve rounded up a few of the most powerful and popular hashtags from the past few years that shed light on important social issues. These hashtags signify movements that have contributed to social change as well as spouting some noteworthy memes.
#OccupyWallStreet– the protest movement that began on September 17th, 2011 in NYC’s financial district aimed at fighting social and economic inequality. Different locations around the world soon spawned their own hashtags, demonstrating the adaptability of hashtags and their power to unite.
Here’s one that’s a little more current and extremely topical at the moment. Nick Jarvis from Junkee explains that this hashtag as a summary of the “scepticism of many Sydneysiders about the uncomfortably close ties between the casinos and Mike Baird’s Liberal Party, since the city’s two casinos… that have both been conveniently left outside the lockout zone, despite the fact The Star is now said to be the most violent venue in NSW.”
As well as being a popular hashtag and war-cry of the Keep Sydney Open movement, #CasinoMike has also spawned a series of parodies that feed social media outlets everywhere.
This hashtag emerged in the wake of the Sydney Siege in 2014. It was tweeted by people offering safety, assistance and protection to those in religious attire on public transport. A powerful symbol of solidarity, this hashtag was hailed as “creating a path for peace,” by Rachael Jacobs, the inspiration behind the movement.
A reaction to the #NotAllMen hashtag (a hashtag in response to the anti-women views of the Isla Vista gunman), #YesAllWomen pointed to the fact that no, not all men are misogynists yet ALL women have to prepare as if they are. It was used by women sharing stories of chauvinism, discrimination and fears of their safety, allowing many taboo issues to be shared and finally spoken about in the open.
Another hot topic at the moment, the #LetThemStay hashtag arose after Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, posted a photo of himself and two young asylum seeker boys at the Melbourne zoo with the hashtag. It was a response to the events of February 8th in which The High Court threw out a challenge to the Australian Government’s immigration detention centre on Nauru, resulting in the proposed deportation of 267 people directly affected by the High Court Decision, including 37 babies born in Australia.
This is the kind of thing that will be written about in marketing and PR textbooks as an ‘avoid at all costs!’ lesson. The #YourTaxis hashtag campaign was started by Victorian Taxi Association as a way of combating the rising popularity of Uber. It was intended for people to use the hashtag to share their positive stories of taxi rides, however, was drastically turned on its head…