In Defense of Hashtag Activism

in-defense-hashtag-activism

Let’s begin with this: I am not a hashtag activist.

Although my work appears predominantly online, I am not an instinctive Tweeter. Few of my (admittedly, over-written and under-edited) sentences meet Twitter’s 140-character limit. The recipe for trend-able hashtags – which require an alchemical mixture of pith and cool – does not come naturally. The frenzied pace of hashtag conversations gives me the feeling of whiplash.

The unspoken etiquette of Twitter remains unfamiliar and causes a great deal of anxiety: When should one “at” another person? At what point in an ongoing conversation does one remove a lingering “at” to avoid harassing an unresponsive user? When should one favorite a tweet versus retweet it? How does one know which hashtag of several popular hashtags on a given subject is the right one to use?

Above all: How does one cram the complex issues raised by one’s intersectional identity – a subject that too often fails to fit within entire tomes of text — into the span of 30 words or less?

So, I am not a hashtag activist. I am a blogger (who happens to have a Twitter account).

But, I call bullshit on the prevailing notion that Twitter-based discourse is not – and can never be – legitimate activism.

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#GamerGate Supporters Having Trouble Telling Two Asians Apart?

Can you tell these two men apart? I can.
Can you tell these two men apart? I can.

In a story that I’m posting about mostly because I find it effin’ hilarious, Arthur Chu –former Jeopardy champion who tweets at @arthur_affect about geek culture — has a problem. See, for the last several months, Chu has been a stalwart critic of GamerGate, that thing that I planned to write about regarding feminism and gaming culture and never pulled together into something coherent. Chu has written several columns, and his Twitter timeline is prolonged documentation of his Leonidas-style one-man-stand against the Persian hoards of angry misogynists gamer purists anti-racists defenders of ethical journalism I-don’t-know.

Arthur Chu is also the guy on the right in the picture above.

Ian Miles Cheong is a former Reddit moderator, editor-in-chief of Gameranx, progressive, and GamerGate critic who now tweets at @stillgray. He is also the guy on the left of the picture above.

There are apparently some folks who support GamerGate who are having trouble telling these two individuals apart.

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