The week in hashtags: #JeSuisCharlie, #JeSuisAhmed, #FoxNewsFacts, #AskHerMore, #CES2015

From the hashtags you’ve definitely seen to the ones you might have missed, here’s social media’s take on an eventful week.


A hashtag that needs no introduction, the Spartacus-inspired tag for the victims of Wednesday’s terror attacks against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has been used 4.7 million times as a tribute, a show of solidarity, a protest and a rallying cry. Becoming one of Twitter’s most prolific hashtags of all time, it leapt off the screen and onto banners carried by the millions who marched across Paris this weekend. It was worn on the Golden Globes red carpet, painted across buildings and used to caption some of the most powerful cartoons social media has ever shared.

But not everyone was comfortable being Charlie. It’s possible to mourn the dead and condemn the violence, said detractors, without supporting their particular brand of satire (which on one occasion included depicting France’s black Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, as a monkey). As a result of the backlash, #JeNeSuisPasCharlie has also been used 55,000 times this week.


A different take on the week’s atrocities, #JeSuisAhmed paid tribute to Ahmed Merabet, the police officer fatally gunned down in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Inspired by everyone’s favourite Voltaire quote, the hashtag has been preferred by many to #JeSuisCharlie, as it makes the same stand for free speech while honouring the sacrifice of a Muslim life too – and crucially, doesn’t expect the Muslim community to bear responsibility for anything (on which Rupert Murdoch needs to do some thinking).

As Ahmed’s brother Malek put it: ‘My brother was a Muslim, and he was killed by people pretending to be Muslims. They are terrorists, that’s it.’

The week also saw #JeSuisJuif (‘I am a Jew’) used as a tribute to those who died in the kosher supermarket shootings.


A surprise for anyone halfway through a bacon sandwich in Erdington yesterday, as the always-reliable Fox News informed the world that Birmingham is now ‘totally Muslim’. That’s Birmingham UK, not Birmingham Alabama, just in case anyone was a little hazy on that point too.

‘In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in,’ explained terrorism ‘expert’ Steve Emerson. We assume that’s ‘expert’ in the same way that the cast of Holby City are ‘expert’ doctors, or Katie Hopkins is an ‘expert’ on human compassion.

Anyway, Emerson’s loose interpretation of the truth spawned #FoxNewsFacts, for which, in a bleak and unfunny week, we should probably be grateful.


In addition to totally killing it in her third year co-hosting the Golden Globes, Amy Poehler used the awards ceremony to launch #AskHerMore – a campaign urging redcarpet interviewers to ask female awards ceremony guests about more than just the label on their frocks. Launched by her web series for teens, Smart Girls at the Party, the #AskHerMore tag even suggested helpful questions as an alternative to the usual tedious options – such as ‘Who inspires you?’, ‘What else would you like to achieve in your career?’ and ‘What did you character teach you?’.

The hashtag might not have taken off in a big way last night, but there’s hope it’ll stick around throughout awards season. And in case anyone was wondering how long it took Amy’s co-host Tina Fey to get ready, she answered it for us in her speech: ‘Steve Carell’s Foxcatcher look took two hours to put on, including his hairstyling and make up. Just for comparison, it took me three hours today to prepare for my role as “human woman”.’


When John Whitbread was dumped by his fiancée just a couple of months before their wedding, he didn’t retreat to a quiet place to lick his wounds and nurse his broken heart – no, he kicked off a Twitter campaign to find a lucky randomer to accompany him on his pre-paid honeymoon. All the horror of a Take Me Out date without any of the fun of going on TV! What could be more tempting?

Using the perfectly catchy hashtag #GirlFromThePublicToDominicanRepublic (best luck it wasn’t Trinidad and Tobago), John set about searching for the perfect any girl to join him at heartbreak hotel, by auctioning the spare ticket off on eBay. Bids are currently up to £6,600, and the extra money he earns will go to testicular cancer charity – because as John says, ‘I’ve got balls to do this.’


It was huge, it was awesome, and we were there. The tech world descended on Las Vegas last week for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show to see the newest, boldest and weirdest of what’s to come for gadget fans in 2015.

It turned out this included smart watches, wearables, robots, bendy phones, skin thermometers, a new rival for the Google Glass and a pair of Sketchers you can play games on, among many, many more. You can find all our coverage here.

Lauren Bravo