The Hashtag â 2014 in review⦠what next? | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


The Hashtag â 2014 in review⦠what next?


Born not so long ago on Twitter to help track conversation topics, in no time at all it was adapted to express feelings and opinions such as #iamsohungry or #whatisthisguytalkingabout

The hashtag has quickly evolved across multiple social networks and has also developed in terms of its usage. The way that information is communicated is now forever altered, with areas such as journalism, activism and social change being transformed in real time.

The use of the hashtag has changed the way we discover relevant information, and the way that we receive our news. In the past, society have had to wait for News to be communicated, either through show reels at the cinema or through waiting for daily designated news slots to report on sometimes yesterday’s news. Now, developments are updated “on the ground” and the world is quite literally at our fingertips. Just as the days of only four television channels have disappeared into distant memory, so has our patience for the news.

One could argue that the instant access to information streamlines our access to relevant channels of information, and then we make of that information what we will. The hashtag although a singular entity allows access to multiple takes on one subject.

Personally, I have a love of hashtags that inspire community and compassion. There is however a dark side to me that loves to witness epic fails such as #askjamesarthur and #askbritishgas where I am #sorrynotsorry (see what I did there?) but such ill-conceived attempts to regain popularity resulted in said parties getting much egg on their social faces, but an interesting lesson for all in the world of hashtags.

2014 was a very interesting year for the hashtag, so I present to you those special one liners that tried to, and in some cases did, make a difference last year:


Launched in reaction to the genuine fears of Australian Muslims who risk being verbally and physically abused on their way to work. At a time where yet again thanks to a volatile economy, racism and fascism are on the rise, it is truly heart-warming to see people power and good conquer the evil of false media, corrupted politicians and ignorant beliefs.

#HandsUpDontShoot and #Icantbreathe

Both very recent reactions to the 2 deaths of unarmed citizens and the increasing concerns over Police brutality. Not only were these slogans chanted at protests, but the hashtag gained sympathy and caused simultaneous protests all over the world.


The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong earned the tag the "Umbrella Revolution" as protestors used umbrellas to protect themselves from the heat and various gases used on them by the authorities.


While I found the method for raising awareness distasteful and reeking of slacktivism, let alone the reality that only 28% of funds raised go to research, I have to tip my hat to the team behind it. Facebook was alive with videos of every Tom, Dick and Harry you know doing it. That many participants didn't actually donate says a lot about this new Me-Generation.


A global effort led by Michelle Obama to denounce the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamic militants. Not only did this not achieve the alleged goal, but it was soon met with fierce yet humorous tweets pointing out the hypocrisy of her husband's actions in the Middle East and forcing the issue of predator drones.

So with the New Year already begun and #jesuischarlie having already been born out of tragic circumstances, what will the hashtags be that will change the world this year?

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.