The Hashtag Revolution

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Dear newly elected officials – don’t underestimate the power of a hashtag.

It can garner you thousands of supporters in mere seconds.

Just ask Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was recently silenced on the Senate floor while reading aloud a 1986 Coretta Scott King opposition letter to Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions. She took quickly to social media to explain her perceived injustice, and soon thereafter, #LetLizSpeak was born.

Senator Warren may have started it off, but #LetLizSpeak gave faces to women who could emphasize with struggle, or being told “no.” And they all shared 140-character snippets of their own stories.

The best way to communicate is through face-to-face interaction (Daft, R. & Lengel, R.). Though Senator Warren can’t personally meet with every woman who feels suppressed in some way, the hashtag revolution that spread out around her provided just that. Joined together with a single character and eleven letters, women were able to interact icon-to-icon and connect with one another – and Warren’s message – on a huge scale.

It may not be face-to-face, but it’s certainly quicker. And often, a speedy hashtag trend seems to get people on the bandwagon.

But it works the other way too – just ask our president, who’s had the misfortune of being the butt of many a hashtag joke. He recently tweeted the phrase “Easy D,” and Twitter has since been having a ball.

It has since become a “revolution” of sorts where users take the opportunity to cast POTUS in a light almost as silly as the phrase itself.


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