When Chris Messina first used #barcamp back in 2007, the initial intention was to unmoderate ad hoc discussion forums. The open standards advocate credited for the invention of hashtags meant for the symbol previously used as programming language to attract meaningful conversations that a big following can relate to.
Usually, successful hashtags have a consensus either silent or written. Besides making popular a trend or topic, the mode of communication mostly used in microblogging most common on twitter is the modern age way of demonstration as well across the world. This way, social media users are able to keep tabs on worldwide happenings. Television broadcasts sell themselves through the same to ignite online discussions. The hashtag bars appear on the bottom of the screen either as brands or in relation to the topic of programme.
#tonguefirmlyincheek #ilovemyfamilyandiam38 was definitely not the intent of hashtag creation but most of social media users have been caught up in the useless hashtag syndrome from time to time. Demonstration hashtags against or siding with a certain idea, action or product have recently been the most preferred ways of hugely sending information on social media.
However, hashtag battles have over the time become so meaningless and no longer impactful in various crisis. Since the mode accommodates all persons behind a screen, little or no action is done concerning a certain issue with some even turning out abusive to the recipient.
#FreeZone9Bloggers is an example of multiple failing battles that need a different way of approach. Now on its tenth month consecutively, Ethiopia still continues to use the hashtag as trials continue. #FreeZone9Bloggers may have been expected to trail off after a couple of months of no result as it is the usual. The use of the hashtag being kept alive by activists in and out of Ethiopia is definitely not the best way of handling the issue considering internet in the state is estimated to reach just over 1% of the population in the state which is the reason twitter does not produce an official trending topics list for Ethiopia.
The hashtag as created to fight for the release of 6 bloggers and two journalist belonging to a group known as Zone 9 well known for campaigning around censorship and human rights in Ethiopia. The individuals are charged with undermining the constitutions and incitement of the public to overthrow the government.
I say, a hashtag would be useless in a country where internet does not reach an adequate amount of people who would actualize the demonstrations and do much more than keep a trend going for 10 months. The rate at which social media users move on from a trending hashtag speaks a lot about the state in concern. Ethiopia is definitely behind time.