Political correctness has never been more dominate in society and
Hashtags are a great way to succinctly give context to an idea online. More often than not, the trending ones are dedicated to celebrity feuds or various puns, but once in a while a hashtag breaks through the internet noise to accomplish something meaningful.
Just before the start of this weekend’s Academy Awards, Twitter users took to the internet to call out the insultingly frivolous questions asked of women on the red carpet. The hashtag drew a huge amount of attention, thanks to a retweet from Reese Witherspoon, and resulted in a noted decrease in fashion-based questions that night.
Historically institutionalized racism is such an ingrained part of our society (and so many others) that it can be difficult to talk about. However, 2014 saw so many tragic events tied to race and power that the issue was impossible to ignore. “Black Lives Matter” seems like such an obvious statement that many people didn’t even realize it was an idea that needed defending until it gained such traction online.
Domestic abuse can be nearly impossible to understand for those who have never experienced it. The question that is always asked of a victim of abuse is “Well, why didn’t she (or he) just leave?” This hashtag strived to bring some modicum of understanding to that question.
This hashtag began for UN World Humanitarian Day in 2013, and encouraged people, organizations and brands to name one thing, in one word, they thought the world needs more of. For every word mentioned, money was donated to UN humanitarian efforts. In the first three months, $700,000 was raised through the hashtag.
One of the very best things about the worldwide megaphone that is social media is the ability to instantly draw attention (and, ideally, maintain that attention) to a cause. Take, for example, the abduction of more than 200 girls from a school in Nigeria. This was the kind of horrific event that could easily have gone without much attention abroad (as horrific events often do), but with the invention of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, Twitter users all over the world, including Michelle Obama, brought widespread attention to what had happened.
John Oliver in general.
John Oliver uses his HBO Last Week Tonight show to regularly shut down the internet. While technically a comedy show, Oliver draws attention to real issues. Oliver has crashed the FCC website, created a Big Tobacco mascot, and introduced the perfect hashtag for corporations looking be edgy online.