n. Activism that uses a Twitter hashtag to promote a project or cause, particularly when it requires no other action from people.
As a reporter, I don’t sign up for various causes, but as someone who lives — far too much — in the world of social media, I can feel the pull of digital activism. And I have to admit I’m starting to experience a kind of "favoriting" fatigue — meaning that the digital causes of the day or week are all starting to blend together. Another week, another hashtag, and with it, a question about what is actually being accomplished.
The advent of "hashtag activism" has been greeted with breathless claims about the birth of a new form of technology-based social movement. While such technologies can be extremely useful tools, they do not represent alternatives to the exhausting, age-old work of meeting people where they are, hearing their concerns, reaching common ground, building trust and convincing them that it is in their interests to act politically to change their circumstances.
Tracy and I wouldn't have devoted as much time and energy to hashtag activism in general and #p2 in particularly if we didn't understand what's at stake here.
To learn more about Twitter hashtags, see Word Spy's hashtag entry.