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2020 was the year activists mastered hashtag flooding

Mashable: “…There are a number of reasons why hashtag flooding can be impactful, but Volsky feels a hashtag’s ability to help people reclaim a narrative is one of the strongest.  “I think the way social media is structured is to reward the loudest most obnoxious, most controversial voices out there, and that’s part of the reason why particularly hateful and incendiary language kind of floats to the top,” Volsky said. “The power of taking over hashtags, I think, comes from the sense that most Americans have, which is to say that those kinds of hateful messages don’t represent us and don’t represent what we believe. And we’re going to use our power — the power of numbers — to flood and overtake those hateful messages with messages of love and hope.” When doing research for #HashtagActivism, Bailey also saw that members of marginalized groups often utilize a hashtag’s power to help amplify their voices. “Black women, women of color, and other people who are on the margins have really used these tools in unique ways that have advanced their particular issues,” she said. “Some of the hashtags that we’ve looked at in the book are also from communities trying to talk to or go through some of their experiences,” Bailey said. She points to #YouOKSis, which Feminista Jones launched to address the issue of street harassment and let people know how to support someone who’s experiencing street harassment — as an example…”

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