Hashtag Publics: The Power and Politics of Discursive Networks (Digital Formations)
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This collection investigates the publics of the hashtag. Taking cues from critical public sphere theory, contributors are interested in publics that break beyond the mainstream - in other publics. They are interested in the kinds of publics that do politics in a way that is rough and emergent, flawed and messy, and ones in which new forms of collective power are being forged on the fly and in the shadow of loftier mainstream spheres.
Hashtags are deictic, indexical - yet what they point to is themselves, their own dual role in ongoing discourse. Focusing on hashtags used for topics from Ferguson, Missouri, to Australian politics, from online quilting communities to labour protests, from feminist outrage to drag pop culture, this collection follows hashtag publics as they trend beyond Twitter into other spaces of social networking such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr as well as other media spaces such as television, print, and graffiti.
Technical Activist Actions in #CISPA. . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Stacy Blasiola, Yoonmo Sang, and Weiai Wayne Xu Art, Craft, and Pop Culture Hashtag Publics Chapter Eleven: Realism against #Realness: Wu Tsang, #Realness, and RuPaul’s Drag Race. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Andy Campbell Chapter Twelve: Living the #Quilt Life: Talking about Quiltmaking on Tumblr. . . . . . . . . . . . .
these incidents and reducing them to individual cases stops a societal debate on the structural origins of crimes committed against women. This example shows the reciprocity of spillover effects: they flow not only from hashtag publics into traditional media publics but also vice versa. In this particular context, the counterpublic also had a corrective role in differentiating the mainstream discourse. In Tunisia, the hashtag #moi_aussi_j’ai_été_violenté (“me too, I have been raped”) was launched
major role in covering and commenting on such events. The most widely recognised mechanism for the coordination of such coverage is the hashtag: a largely user-generated mechanism for tagging and collating those tweets which are related to a specific topic. Senders include hashtags in their messages to mark them as addressing particular themes. For Twitter users, following and posting to a hashtag conversation makes it possible for them to communicate with a community of interest around the
the multiple incongruities at play in any given humorous communication are perceived at the individual level—“the recognition of a connection even if that connection is logically or empirically questionable” (2010, p. 2). Appropriateness links the otherwise disparate parts of the joke (the incongruities). This notion of appropriateness, as Raskin (2011) has noted in a critique of Oring, can be amorphous and idiosyncratic. But, according to Oring (2011), that is the point. More elaborate
ramping up of activity in the evening also demonstrates Twitter’s ability to respond rapidly to breaking news—an ability which builds not least on the fact that new hashtags can be created ad hoc, by users themselves, without any need to seek approval from Twitter administrators. As we will argue in this chapter, this enables hashtags to be used for the rapid formation of ad hoc issue publics, gathering to discuss breaking news and other acute events (Burgess, 2010; Burgess & Crawford, 2011). But