Business Standard

From politics to social activism: How hashtag changed the world in a decade

The humble "#" is now powerful enough to infiltrate social media networks and launch grassroots campaigns against state and non-state actors alike


On the hashtag's 10-year anniversary last year, Twitter's co-founder Biz Stone recounted how the hashtag symbol came to be so iconic Photo: Shutterstock

Joanna Rozpedowski | The Conversation
From fashion trends to global events, the hashtag (#) has become the conspicuous symbol of the Twittersphere. What only a decade ago denoted a numerical symbol of no special significance or attribution is now a call to arms for causes that are many and varied.
The “#” is a social organiser, which emerged spontaneously and dynamically from the content generated and updated by social media users. The initial intent behind the “#”, when Twitter launched in 2006, lay in its simple use as a means of organising data and information. An indexing tool for grouping

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Oct 31 2018 | 8:49 AM IST

Explore News

To read the full story, subscribe to BS Premium now, at just Rs 249/ month.

Key stories on are available only to BS Premium subscribers.

Register to