The good, the bad, the awful and the hilarious of the week’s hashtags – in a few more than five words.
When CNN launched a Q&A ahead of its Cops Under Fire special on Tuesday using the hashtag #AskACop, the network certainly received questions. Some considered the torrent of angry tweets about racial profiling, brutality and the deaths of unarmed citizens to be a massive backfire, others reckoned a cunning CNN had set the whole thing up as a publicity stunt.
But whatever the intention, the debate took a newly tragic turn on Saturday with the news that two police officers had been killed in Brooklyn by a gunman who had posted ‘revenge’ threats on Instagram. Twitter is far from speechless, but #AskACop doesn’t seem to be finding many answers.
When you show up at a peaceful protest in full riot gear, do you think it makes people trust you more? #AskACop
— Jeff Fecke (@jkfecke) December 16, 2014
— Yukio Strachan (@boldandworthy) December 17, 2014
It’s back! Time to revive your firstname.lastname@example.org email account and revisit your overexposed emo fringe selfies from 2007. At one time the most popular social network in the UK, Bebo has returned – and it’s been transformed into a wacky cartoon messaging app.
The new-look service allows users to create an animated doppelganger, make personalised emojis and get their avatars to perform actions through hashtags, such as #wokeuplikethis and #slap or the more advanced #coinflip (which flips a coin) and #allthesingleladies (which does a cartoon Beyonce routine).
We’re still waiting to hear whether it will be socially acceptable for anyone over 21 to join in.
On Thursday we woke up to the news that Sony Pictures had cancelled the release of The Interview, Seth Rogen’s comedy about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after hackers attacked the corporation and issued threats of violence to cinemagoers. ‘The world will be full of fear,’ one message read. ‘Remember the 11th of September 2001.’
Fury followed the move – which is estimated to have cost Sony $80m – as Hollywood heavyweights argued that their freedom of expression had been compromised, and many others claimed it was cowardly pandering to the would-be terrorists. Four days on, Sony now claims it never actually pulled the plug on the film and will be distributing it for free on streaming service Crackle.
And with half the Western world now champing at the bit to see it, the whole furore could turn out to be a big PR win yet.
I’m doing my bit for the New Cold War by boycotting North Korean cinema I hope you do too. #TheInterview
— Allelujah Murray (@almurray) December 18, 2014
Heartwarming proof that the art of the hashtag game isn’t totally dead yet, this tag had tweeters sharing the kinds of dating anecdotes that make single people want to give it all up and retire quietly to a convent. There were no-shows, oversharers, UKIP-voters, penny-pinchers and bodily surprises – and with more than 180,000 tweets since Tuesday, it took off quicker than… well, than half of the horrified dates did.
Naturally it only took a few hours for corporate accounts to leap on the bandwagon and remind us all that there IS something more embarrassing than a date who brings his mum along. Charmin? Not so charming.
“I LOVE YOU” within hour #WorstDateIn5Words — Holly Brockwell (@hollybrocks) December 18, 2014
I’m not a racist but #WorstDateIn5Words — Bridie Jabour (@bkjabour) December 18, 2014
Hashtags can be a broad church, and there’s none so broad as one that gets people to sum up their feelings/likes/dislikes/memories/opinions/anything as long as it’s in five words. Is ‘five words’ the new ‘movie titles’?
Like the much more concise equivalent of those endless ‘2014, what a year!’ Facebook statuses we all love to hate (and also love to post), #2014In5Words covered everything from racial tensions and celebrity deaths to Five Seconds of Summer doing whatever it is that Five Seconds of Summer do. And enough personal journeys to make the Strictly contestants look basically static.
#2014In5Words I LOVE NETFLIX AND FOOD — Jeremy Shayne (@jeremyshayne) December 21, 2014
Can we try that again? #2014In5Words
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) December 21, 2014
Poor Directioners have to deal with a lot of disappointment. On top of never getting a response when their cats die and facing the fact that Liam might not be enjoying every single one of their selfies, this week they were dangled one of pop’s ultimate carrots… the hint that Harry might have naked photos ripe for the hacking (and by ‘hint’ we mean ‘joke’), followed by the hashtag #HarryStylesNudesLeaked. You could almost feel the hormonal surge threatening to blow out the national grid.
It was a hoax, obviously – and after condemning 4Chan’s all-female iCloud leak back in August, we couldn’t very well have looked anyway.
It’s trending, as a helpful reminder! Pop it in your diary now, so you don’t forget.
Main image: Ognian Mladenov‘s Flickr