Hashtag “hijacking” of #HimToo

I’ve always thought hashtag activism is dubious, especially when ad hoc social movements start to imagine they have some kind of collective IP ownership of their preferred hashtags. They are, after all, just arbitrary descriptors people individually and spontaneously attach to their personal posts. It’s double-dubious when movements imagine they have a claim against opposition hashtags that they perceive as undercutting their own visibility. As far as I’m concerned, there is no viable theory of hashtag etiquette or ethics.

The story of #HimToo is traced in the short article linked below. It evolved through various uses, recently taking on brief meanings: male victims of sexual assault; then male perpetrators of sexual assault; then males falsely accused of sexual assault; now it marks support for Kavanaugh. The story shows the inherent weakness of hashtags as tools for social organizing. I think we need to just accept that these little index labels are ephemeral and under no ones’ control. If we can accept that, then there are plenty of good uses for them.

How #HimToo Became the Anti #MeToo of the Kavanaugh Hearings


HimToo has meant many things over the last three years. The latest is a hashtag hijacking, like #AllLivesMatter, spawned as a sexist rebuttal to Christine Blasey Ford.

#MeToo #HashTags #activism #SocialMedia #SocialJustice