Hashtag Hijack: #Forward moving the President Backwards

I wrote, earlier, about how the attempt to hijack the hash tag #DontDoubleMyRate didn’t really work out too well.  Well, a few days have passed, and now the hashtag du jour is #Forward, and once again conservatives are attempting to take over the tag for their own purposes.

Will they fail like last time? Nope.  This time they’re pulling it off.  In a review of roughly 15,000 posts up to midnight, 4/30/2012 (EDT), the uses of #Forward are:

Roughly two thirds of all tweets using the hash tag are anti-Obama.

Compare this to what happened with #DontDoubleMyRate:

I think we can draw the conclusion that if you come up with a hash tag that personally resonates with your constituency, they’ll tweet their hearts out.  The number of tweets for the #DontDoubleMyRate hash tag is about 4 times larger than for #Forward, and the difference is probably the added supporters of Obama.  I suspect that there’s going to be a consistent pool of conservatives who will jump on (and trash) any hash tag Obama is using, and if the pro-obama tweeple don’t get excited, the hash tag is going to go down in flames.


I retrieved 15,038 tweets using the hashtag #forward prior to 5/1/2012, which was all the tweets using #forward  I could find.  Of those, I randomly examined 375 to determine if the tweet was pro- or anti-obama or just unrelated (a few soccer and basketball forwards in the mix).  That determination is admittedly subjective, but is really only likely to be in question for a small # of tweets (most were abundantly clear that they were anti-obama.  Some required looking at the contents of a URL to determine the intent, and for the 5 or 6 that were that way I just marked them as no being anti-Obama.)The sample size allows me to estimate the percentage of anti-Obama tweets is 68% +/- 5%, with a confidence level of 95%. Statistics FTW!