Hashtag hijacking

(Mark Dalgarno) #1

Hi folks,

Quick question. How do you handle cases where someone starts using your Twitter hashtag to promote their own events (or business).


(Nick Lawson) #2

Hi Mark, great question. We’ve encountered this before to an extent.

We used to use #eventschat for our events (promoting & audience engagement) and it used to get a pretty big reach, trending in London a couple of times. I noticed that after the event had finished the hashtag was being spammed by a Russian dating site, but since the event was over and they were pretty much the only activity we didn’t do anything about/think anymore about it.

But now you’ve brought it up, what can you actually do? Apart from asking them to stop using it you’re pretty much powerless no? And in our particular case I imagine it was just a bot that latched onto high impression hashtags, so they wouldn’t have responded.

Would love to hear from someone who has had this issue more seriously than me, and how they dealt with it?

(Mark Dalgarno) #3

I’ve used Report & Block when it’s happening during an event. Particularly for some of the nastier stuff that comes up when your hashtag is popular during the event.

If it’s someone I know I might politely ask them to refrain.

I’ve never (yet) pointed it out as a bad example. That would be counter-productive I think.

(Mark Walker) #4

Hm, this is an interesting question! I just googled to see if there is much advice (there isn’t), but this post seemed to sum up the options nicely: http://blog.hashtracking.com/what-to-do-if-your-hashtag-gets-hijacked/

(Mark Dalgarno) #5

Thanks for the link @markw - will take a look.

(Belinda Booker) #6

As an aside, the hashtag has just turned 10. The Guardian has compiled the top 10 hashtag fails of the decade, including the fabulous #susanalbumparty :joy: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/23/hashtag-10-years-old-social-media-technology

(Melissa Saunders) #7

Great link @markw Thanks for sharing. Do you think at some point legal battles will come on this?

(Belinda Booker) #8

Apparently some actually are trademarked like #Rio2016 and #TeamUSA so legal action could be taken: http://www.pacermonitor.com/articles/2016/11/28/hashtag-trademark/

(Melissa Saunders) #9

Any thoughts on how much that would cost?

(Belinda Booker) #10

Well, I did register a trademark in the past (it was a brand logo), which I think cost around £200. I made the application myself rather than hiring a trademark lawyer, which naturally costs a fair bit more!