#Hashtag10: 10 favourite hashtags for 10 years

Ten years ago today, the hashtag was born.

Since then, it’s been a decade of political movements, silly trends and old people on Twitter not having a clue how to use them. So, in celebration, here’s a list of ten of our favourite hashtags that have blessed us over the last ten years.


#PopeBars began in 2015 when an image of Pope Francis surfaced, looking like he was in the middle of a rap battle. It made a resurgence this year when a new photo made its way onto the web, and we’re really glad it did.


Not so much a favourite as it is a moment in history that need not be forgotten, #TheDress sparked online debate like never before. Lines were drawn in the sand, friendships were ruined, shrieks of frustration were heard around the world.

Thank you, #TheDress, for allowing us to cut the Team Black and Blue members out of our lives for good.


#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly did exactly what it says on the tin, and it was an exercise in examining movies from points of view you may not have before. It was also a lot of fun.


Moving from film to fine art, #EmojiArtHistory was a way of merging technology and art in a way that probably didn’t do either any justice. The hashtag was made popular in 2013 — a much simpler time — and had loads of Twitter users picking up their phones to create their own masterpieces.


More recently, in a response to the live action Ghost in the Shell remake, #IAmMajor made use of the film’s own marketing strategy to critique the alleged white-washing of its cast. Twitter users, angry that Scarlett Johansson was cast in the role of a Japanese woman were out to be petty, dramatic, and take a stand.

It also fuelled the trolls.


A trend meant to separate the gods from mere men, #SelfieOlympics saw many a Twitter user risking their life for some likes, followers, and that elusive internet fame. If nothing, the trend is a reminder of when Twitter was fun and impulsive and not littered with hate.


A few months back, Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was pictured at a food drive wearing gloves with black children. It caused an uproar on Twitter, where many thought she was trying to keep herself clean from the kids.

The #MissSAChallenge encouraged users to take pictures wearing gloves or other protection during unnecessary activities. Nel-Peters eventually called for those taking part in the challenge to volunteer for charity.


Remember that time we were meant to be boycotting social media to protest high data prices in South Africa, but instead ignored it so hard that #SocialMediaBlackout itself trended? It was quite the time.


#FF, or Follow Friday is the most tweeted hashtag, because all we really want is someone who’s going to be interested in our opinions. Nowadays, most tweets with the hashtag are from spam bots, but there was a simpler time when people would promo each other just because they liked them.


The only people using the #Hashtag on days it isn’t its birthday are people who have no idea how they work — and sometimes it’s just fun to peruse.

Happy birthday, hashtags. Here’s to another ten years of organised chaos.



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