ButActually | The Hashtag Activist Dictionary 1 Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Jan 1 2015

Location: 

New York City, internet

Butactually.com is a new kind of online dictionary created by a team of students at NYU Gallatin who seek to document, organize, and provide a platform for anyone to share new activist hashtags.

Since 2009 hashtags have been used to mobilize protests on the streets and spark discussions online and in the media about important issues ranging from government oppression, wealth disparity, victim blaming of women, police brutality, and systemic racism. Recently activists use them in increasingly clever ways by incorporating irony and conventions of the Internet meme. Ferguson activists for instance exposed institutionalized racism through meme-like, hashtag-facilitated debates around #HandsUpDontShoot, #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, and #AliveWhileBlack.

Clever hashtags like these allow the aggregate voices of various communities to express what's wrong with the world and needs to be made better – especially issues and messages often avoided by politicians and the news media. Once coined, the best of these clever hashtags are then spread on social networks and made personal with individualized tweets, blog posts, images, and videos from thousands who connect with the hashtag's message.

ButActually.com documents these trending activist hashtags, organizes them by their associated causes, and provides a platform for anyone to share dictionary entries for new ones. They can be humorous like #FirstWorldProblems, clever like #Mansplain, or more serious like #BlackLivesMatter. Each entry includes a short Vine, Instragram, or Youtube video usage example by the submitter showcasing how the new hashtag can be used and made personal on social media.

Everyone is invited to participate in co-creating this project by contributing his or her hashtag. Through wit and humor we hope to promote socially just causes, one clever hashtag at a time.

Check out the site linked below to see ButActually in action and submit your own activist hashtag. And don't forget to follow our #OfTheDay on Twitter and Facebook!

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