Hashtags Are Changing Politics

The hashtag has grown in popularity and awareness since it was introduced on Twitter in 2006.

The founders of the social media platform never intended for it to become such a powerful symbol. It was initial used as a way of organising data and information.

Hashtags are now used as a marketing ploy, a symbol for brands and a way to get involved in online conversation.

But now the hashtag is even shaping politics. Political figures such as Donald Trump and Barack Obama used Twitter as a way to gain followers and get their political messages across to users.

Barack Obama is currently the third most followed person on Twitter, whilst his good pal (I hope you can sense the sarcasm) Donald Trump is seventeenth.

With the midterm elections taking place in America, the highest trending hashtag currently is #ElectionDay. A whole host of celebrities and public figures have been tweeting about their political views and urging people to vote.

Hashtags have also bought concerns into the forefront of public conversations which have then been dealt with by governments. For example, #MeToo sparked conversations about sexual abuse, gender dynamics and harassment in the workplace. #RefugeesWelcome urged governments to rethink their laws on immigration.

#FreeIran #ClimateChange and #ImWithHer are all examples of how great the hashtag now is.

The ‘#’ is an influential symbol when it comes to raising awareness of variety of issues. With 335million Twitter users and 500 million Tweets a day, the social media platform is an easy way to target people with propaganda. The hashtag is the catalyst of trending certain beliefs and is shaping the future of politics!

Have your say, do you think the hashtag has made politics more accessible? Do you think social media platforms are the future of politics? Leave your opinion in the comments section.

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