Contributed to a Washington Post story on how hashtag activism can translate to policy change:
This interplay between real-world events and online activism is what turns a catchy hashtag into a powerful slogan.
“It tethers the conversation to things that really happened,” Howard said.
Howard, who calls himself a “cyber-optimist,” acknowledges that his argument isn’t conventional wisdom. Hashtag activism — which includes such movements as #Kony2012 and #BringBackOurGirls — often draws criticism, with detractors characterizing so-called “slacktivism” as a lazy, passive form of protest; they emphasize that tagging a tweet with #BlackLivesMatter or #OccupyWallStreet doesn’t equate with the effort it takes to attend a protest or lobby Congress.