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The dark side of social media is something called “hashtag activism”. Hashtag activism,” allows people to do little more than hit “post” and feel as though they’ve made an impact on brands. Some brands, like Starbucks, understand how to fight back against hashtag activism, but other brands and people are so afraid that they will retreat in their caves and things to apologize for everything including changes in the weather.

Social media is still evolving in both the way people use it and how brands respond to posts. For many people hashtag activism has become a minimum way to contribute to a cause while they continue to take a minimal approach to “walking the walk”.

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We have become so sensitive that even some ads and products can offend people and lead to a flurry of hashtag posts in which brands and retailers retreat and apologize for a thousand times over. A good example was the sweater from Target with “Jewish American Princess” on it which caused horror to consumers even though there are things going on in our country that should really horrify people.

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Brands need to wise up to hashtag activism and people need to stop using hashtags as a way to get involved with issues they care about. Time to stop the bullshit on the dark side of social media.

Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on November 16, 2015.

Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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