In Defense of Hashtag Activism

Posted By Jenn


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.

Continue reading “In Defense of Hashtag Activism”