Twitter, first known as Twittr, is established.
User Chris Messina first uses the hashtag.
The earliest racial justice hashtag we examine in #HashtagActivism. On January 1, 2009 Oscar Grant is shot dead by BART Police in Oakland, California. YouTube is the primary platform for sharing cellphone video of the incident, as Twitter – still a new platform – does not yet allow video embedding. Despite this limitation activists begin to use the hashtag #OscarGrant…
Twitter reschedules planned downtime so as not to conflict with a large protest in Iran, signaling the potential role that twitter could play in social movements.
Hashtag used to organize the occupation of Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution.
‘New Twitter’ is launched. The user interface is completely overhauled.
Despite seven of the nine witnesses recanting their testimony, a lack of forensic evidence, and Davis maintaining his innocence on this date Georgia executes Troy Davis. Amnesty International, the Innocence Project, and countless advocates offline and offline had been working to stop the execution. Twitter recorded 7671 tweets per second in the moments before Davis’ execution, making it the second…
Among hashtags popularized following the killing of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin alongside #BlackLivesMatter and #TrayvonMartin, it was among the first in the #BlackLivesMatter network. Read more in Chapter 4 of #HashtagActivism.
Start by Janet Mock to support transgender women facing exclusion and prejudice and to build networks of support. You can read Mock’s reflection on the hashtag in Chapter 3 of #HashtagActivism.
Emerged out of the movement to release CeCe McDonald, a Black trans woman who was sentenced for three and a half year in a men’s prison for defending herself after she was attacked in a bar in Minneapolis. #BecauseOfCeCe and #CeCeIsFree also came about with her release as a way to celebrate the tangible effects of movement work. Read more about these…
The hashtag as it would come to represent the contemporary movement against police violence is first used by Alicia Garza on Facebook in response to the acquittal of #TrayvonMartin’s killer. While used thereafter to this effect across social media platforms it becomes most ubiquitous on Twitter in the weeks following the deaths of #EricGarner and #MichaelBrown a year later. Read…
Redefining Realness was a campaign and conversation which emerged alongside the memoir of the same name, published by trans activist Janet Mock. As part of the #TransIsBeautiful and #GirlsLikeUs narrative, #RedefiningRealness tackled popular notions of gendered authenticity. Read more about these hashtags in Chapter 3 of #HashtagActivism.
Twitter introduces new algorithm, prioritising ‘important tweets’ over most recent.
Begun by Mikki Kendall and Jamie Nesbitt Golden in the wake of ongoing accusations against R. Kelly for rape and abuse of underage girls. The term “fast-tailed” in AAVE term used to describe girls who are supposedly sexually curious or promiscuous. Kendall and Golden used the hashtag to challenge this victim-blaming narrative and offer intersectional analysis of the ways Black…
In hopes of disrupting the negative racialized connotations of the word “riot” in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, many users shifted to “uprising.” Read about the relationship of #BaltimoreUprising to #BaltimoreRiots and others in the #BlackLivesMatter network in Chapter 5 of #HashtagActivism.
Following the death of #FreddieGray this hashtag is used by those protesting on the streets, those watching and supporting online, and their critics. Read more about why and how some users opted to replace the hashtag with #BaltimoreUprising in Chapter 5 of #HashtagActivism.
Following a misogynistic stabbing and shooting spree near University of California, Santa Barbara, user @gildedspine started the hashtag to push back against defensive reactions of men who claimed critiques of violent misogyny could not be levied ubiquitously. The hashtag speaks to shared experiences among women but was also complicated by later hashtags like #YesAllWhiteWomen in the wake of it’s mainstream…
Allyship hashtag popularized by Liz Plank in response to #YesAllWomen, highlighting how men can challenge sexual abuse, harassment and assault. Read more about this hashtag in Chapter 6 of #HashtagActivism.
First used by anti-rape activist and survivor Wagatwe Wanjuki in response to conservative American columnist George Will’s assertion that reporting rape granted a “coveted status” to college women. Wanjuki and others used the hashtag to detail the lasting and wide-spread impacts of assault on their lives. Read more about this hashtag in Chapter 1 of #HashtagActivism.
Prompted a great deal of discussion about sexual harassment and violence in public space, particularly as it disproportionately affects women of color. Read more about this hashtag in Chapter 2 of #HashtagActivism.
Emerged following the killing of Eric Garner by NYPD officers in Staten Island, New York. To read more about this hashtag and its connection to others in the #BlackLivesMatter network see Chapter 5 of #HashtagActivism.
#MikeBrown and #MichaelBrown
Mike Brown is killed by Ferguson police in Missouri. His body is left on the street for over four hours, increasing community outrage and sparking widespread protest.
The first hashtag used in the wake of the killing of #MichaelBrown by police in Ferguson, MO. The hashtag becomes so ubiquitous in the weeks of protest that follow that activists across the world take up the slogan #FergusonIsEverywhere to talk about state violence. Read more about how the use of this hashtag facilitated the spread of others in the…
First used by Beverly Gooden in response to media coverage that blamed Janay Rice for violence perpetrated against her by her NFL player husband. The hashtag is used to detail the cultural prevalence of victim blaming and the dangers of leaving abusive relationships. Read more about this hashtag in Chapter 1 of #HashtagActivism.
Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice is shot dead on a playground by Cleveland Police. Read more about how many took up his cause in Chapter 5 of #HashtagActivism.
Allyship hashtag begun by television writer Jason Ross, to call attention to white privilege in interactions with police. Read more about this hashtag in Chapter 6 of #HashtagActivism.
Begun by Laverne Cox to challenge the value of passing as cisgender and to encourage trans* women to see themselves in whatever form as beautiful. Read more in Chapter 3 of #HashtagActivism.
April Reign uses the hashtag to critique the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for excluding filmmakers of color and films about people of color from the Oscar field. The hashtag is used for years to come to offer analysis on the lack of diversity in filmmaking and Hollywood.
Popularized by the African American Policy Forum to draw attention to the disproportionate impact of state violence on Black women. Read how #SayHerName evolved in relation to other Black feminist hashtags in Chapter 2 of #HashtagActivism.
Freddie Gray was arrested by Baltimore police and later died as a result of injuries related to a “rough ride.” Read more about the outrage that followed Gray’s arrest and death in Chapter 5 of #HashtagActivism.
Sandra Bland is found dead in her holding cell following a pretextual traffic stop in Texas. Read about the activism that evolved around Bland in both Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 of #HashtagActivism.
Popularized by comedian Elon James White, the ‘Empty Chair’ refers to the New York Magazine cover which features 35 survivors of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault, seated with one empty chair among them to represent survivors unable to come forward. More on the remarkable way White used this hashtag as a form of allyship in Chapter 1 of #HashtagActivism.
‘Moments’ is launched.
Photos, videos and user handles are no longer included in the 140 character limit. Tweets beginning with a handle will now be seen by that user’s followers.
Philando Castile is shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who is also in the car with her four-year-old-daughter, streams the immediate aftermath on Facebook Live. Despite being taken down multiple times the video of Castile’s harrowing last moments is viewed and shared millions of times. Read more about the hashtag in…
“Me Too” was first a campaign to support survivors of sexual violence led by Tarana Burke in 2006. #MeToo was popularized by Alyssa Milano in 2017 as it highlighted the widespread nature of sexual assault and harassment brought on by Harvey Weinstein allegations. Read more about this hashtag in Chapter 1 of #HashtagActivism.
Twitter increases the character limit to 280 characters.