Proving the point: harassers attempt to hijack #TellAFeministThankyou hashtag By tigtog on 2013-02-13 • ( 12 ) I started #tellafeministthankyou b/c of feminists harassed on Twitter. Now ppl are using the tag to harass feminists. Prove the point more! — Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) February 12, 2013 Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrPocketLike this:Like Loading...‹ Happy Darwin Day, fellow mutants5 years since the Apology ›Categories: culture wars, gender & feminismTags: cyberbullying, harassment, silencing tactics Related Articles Abortion will remain in the NSW Crimes Act 96th Down Under Feminists Carnival Don’t read Paglia, read Ivins Dawkins stirs the pot again
This screencap shows the truly alarming sophistication and subtlety of the hijackers:
[image description: screencap of twitter hashtag search for #TellAFeministThankyou. In the “related” section, one of the search terms is “sandwich”.]
I find attempts to hijack hashtags interesting in general. Obviously, I highly approve of it when it’s done by activists for a cause with which I agree. I don’t exactly disapprove of attempts to do it by supporters of causes with which I disagree, either: the hijack attempts are always illuminating in one way or another.
I like this one.
The “jokes” are so predictable too – sammiches, hairy legs, ugly, shrill etc, then of course the anti-choice brigade calling all feminists murderers. It’s real Voltaire’s Prayer territory.
Just recently, there was a similar repurposing of the #ineedmasculismbecause hashtag: How Twitter turned a hashtag prank into a feminist victory. Considered together, what these incidents suggest to me is it’s a lot more fun to be snarky and sarcastic on Twitter than it is to be earnest and preach to the choir– and this holds regardless of specifics of progressive versus reactionary.
Stephan, very true.
As I see it the main reason why the manosphere didn’t have the same effect on #TellAFeministThankyou as the feminists did on #INeedMasculismBecause comes down to a fundamental difference in the purpose of the hashtags too: the masculism hashtag was negatively-focussed from the start because of how MRA tweeters went straight for abusing feminists (often mentioning specific feminists on twitter to guarantee that they saw the tweets), while the feminist hashtag’s point was positive outreach to other feminists on twitter to say something nice to them as an antidote to the background level of abuse. Thus feminist activists were immediately aware of the masculism hashtag before it gained much ground in the tweetosphere, while the MRA activists didn’t seem to notice the feminist hashtag until it had been going for most of a day and started to trend as a sidebar topic on their Twitter homepages. This made a rather large difference in tone for anybody who went to look at the hashtag timelines.
So when the manosphere attempted to hijack the hashtag with simplistic mockery and hoary accusatory talking-points it was very simple for feminist tweeters to just continue saying nice things to other feminists alongside some mocking of the predictability. After all, simplistic mockery is nothing compared to the vitriol that’s SOP for feminist activists online. By contrast, those who were taking the masculism hashtag seriously were neither used to being challenged regularly nor able to effectively muster the numbers to mount an effective original-purpose-focussed pushback sufficient to take back the timeline.
What do you mean by ‘attempt?’ It isn’t an attempt if it happens.
I never saw hijacker tweets vastly outnumber original-purpose tweets on the hashtag timeline. So it was an attempt, not a success.
Do you think that says something about the demographics of those using Twitter?
Other than feminists/womanists outnumbering manospherists or that 4-channers have short attention spans? I’m not sure it says much more than that.
I found Stephan’s link interesting in that the masculism hashtag is still actively furthering actual masculinist discussion now that 4-chan has moved on to newer pastures.
Tangent – fascinating post from @therotund on xojane:
Ironic how debates about whether feminism is inclusive enough always seem to talk as if it’s solely a US movement …