The Top 10 Conservative Hashtags on Twitter (Mid-May, 2014)

Everyone who uses Twitter is familiar with and uses hashtags.  But the usage of hashtags is not uniform; some people use them to identify specific topics while others use them as a sort of group identity. For those who use them as group identity, their hashtags tend to stand out in the crowd because of the consistent and widespread usage of them.  Topics come and go from day to day, but groups persist.  And that gives group hashtags unique staying power.

In the realm of US politics, conservative Twitter users tend to focus on a small set of group hashtags that get high usage as a result.  Here are the top conservative hashtags, as a percentage of overall english language tweets:

Hashtag % of English language tweets
#TCOT 0.033%
#pjnet 0.014%
#GOP 0.013%
#teaparty 0.007%
#TLOT 0.004%
#TGDN 0.004%
#NRA 0.003%
#LNYHBT 0.003%
#RedNationRising 0.003%
#OperationAmericanSpring 0.002%

Note that issue specific hashtags were not counted; I was looking for group affiliation tags.

The percentages look small, but remember the number of English language tweets is massive. On May 16, 2014, for example, there were approximately 160 million english-language tweets, and so TCOT would be present in about 53,000 of them.

The top liberal hashtags, on the other hand, tend to get less play:

Hashtag % of English language tweets
#P2 0.013%
#UniteBlue 0.012%

What this tells us is that conservatives are much more consistent in branding their tweets with #tcot.  That doesn’t really tell us much about the overall volume of conservative vs. liberal tweets, however. (I did not do a deep search for liberal hashtags, so I could have missed something.)

So what do these top conservative hashtags mean?

Hashtag Meaning


Top Conservatives On Twitter.  Interestingly, there was an organized movement once around this hashtag, with a variety of websites and people promoting it (see this history). That all seems to have faded away, but the hashtag has continued on and thrived on its own.


The official hashtag of the Patriot Journalist Network. The description on their website reads:

The Patriot Journalist Network is a team of conservatives working together to support the conservative cause through the use of Twitter. More than just a hashtag(#) or intent to participate, each team member has given permission by opting in to the PatriotJournalist Twitter application to post tweets on their behalf.

(Emphasis mine).  This means that the popularity of the hashtag is driven, to an extent, by automation.

They also sponsor the less popular #WAAR hashtag, for Who Are American Refugees.  It seems inspired by a fellow who dresses as a super hero and hands out copies of the constitution.


The Republican party.


Tea Party related tweets


Top Libertarians On Twitter, a version of #TCOT.  Originally, there was some attempt to make it Top Liberals on Twitter, but around 2009 it became firmly identified with libertarians.


Twitter Gulag Defense Network.  This tag first started showing up in 2012, but seemed to really get rolling in January of 2013. It is/was an attempt to help conservatives avoid getting blocked and suspended, presumably by false spam reports from liberals. Ironically, its founder seems to have had his account suspended…


National Riffle Association.  You can have this hashtag when they pry it from my … well, you get the idea.  I realize this tag used with issues as well as a group, but the NRA is first and foremost a group.


Let Not Your Heart BTroubled.  Sean Hannity’s hashtag.  Also John 14:1, but I’m pretty sure the people using it are referring to Hannity.


A tag that has ties to the Red Nation Rising blog.


This is a bit distorted by the fact that I was just looking at May’s tweets, but regardless, it is associated with the Operation American Spring group.

If I missed any, or misinterpreted any, please let me know!