In the beginning man created fire, shortly followed by the wheel, alcohol and then wifi. As such history is full of people burning their houses down, crashing into trees and urinating in public – not all at once, usually. With the introduction to broadband, however, a whole new way of failing epically was born, this time in front of millions of people waiting to judge you for it. Here are 8 such examples of the most fail-worthy Twitter hashtags in history.
This first one is a bit contrived really, it seems like Metro Transport – the minds behind this “playful” hashtag wanted to have a bit of fun with this campaign:
On the heels of such a painfully obvious campaign came the inevitable parody twitter account, I don’t think Metro Transit really wanted to give their passengers this kind of encouragement:
Rather than being the cause of orgies on bus routes all around Canada, Metro Transport become the butt of their own joke – not to mention attracting the ire of its passengers left out in the rain.
If enough people start using a hashtag it will start trending, and thousands are likely to then see it. This is like marketing catnip for businesses and as such causes people to do stupid things in order to get some. One such brand got a little bit too excited when they thought they saw one of their brand of dresses trending.
The #Aurora tag was trending on 20th July 2012, which is also the day of the Aurora, CO cinema shooting.
Whilst I’m not claiming for one moment that Celeb Boutique were being intentionally insensitive or offensive, but it would have taken 30 seconds to look at what those #Aurora tagged tweets contained and to learn that people weren’t getting worked up about a line of dresses.
Do your research first! You’re going to look a bit stupid if you try to use the gravity of a disaster to sell your clothes – not to mention piss a few people off.
Considering that Islamophobia is still very much a thing, a hashtag like this can only serve to stir the pot, right? Well, sensing the cynicism in Newsweek’s motives, many twitter users (and some journalists) instead opted to create a light(er)-hearted internet meme:
So rather than getting steamed up “MUSLIM RAGE” and all that may involve, people just took the piss – nice try Newsweek!
When the Hobbit was released last year, everyone got quite excited and as with most films there was an assault by their marketing team on social media to spread the word and get people to the cinema. In Switzland, however, their tactic seemed slightly different.
Yes, you’re reading this right, there’s been no photoshop magic here they really were pushing #hobbitch. But before you all get the wrong idea about the Swiss, this might be another naive case of failing to read the hashtag before someone hit publish. If you didn’t know CH is the country code for Switzerland, so #HobbitCH then becomes the marketing martial for the Swiss campaign – so that’s that cleared up then, right?
You could almost go as far as calling this a “classic”, but all those looking for or talking about therapy on the internet have always been at risk of getting lost in translation. The following message highlights why grammar is really important in some cases…
You get the idea, the lack of spaces in hash tags make for some epic fails. Here we run into the first lesson to be learnt with hashtags – they’re all one word, that means you really need to read what you’re writing first and understand that someone may see something different. Ever since the first therapist joined the dot com era, the lack of capitalisation or punctuation has been a bit of a minefield for professionals everywhere – more on this later on!
How could this possibly not be someone taking the mick? Oh wait, it is Research in Motion – better known as the company behind BlackBerry – advertising their job vacancies. It’s not surprising really, considering there can’t have been enough staff to proof read this howler before it was sent out!
Not just content with tweeting about rimjobs on twitter, newspapers around the country were also spreading the word: So it looks a little more innocent in print like that, but it didn’t stop this image alone from being shared far and wide nevertheless.
Reseach In Motion have since spoiled all our fun by renaming themselves as BlackBerry – I guess that makes more sense really.
Whilst I’m sure this is certainly not something BlackBerry offer on its standard contracts these days, it certainly got peoples’ attention. Want to know what the biggest risk behind a misleading hashtag is? Go on, search for #rimjobs on twitter, I dare you.
This is the most unfortunate of the bunch, possibly because it’s not some billion dollar company behind it, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the best of the bunch. You can see what the idea was here, aiming to make a nice and succinct hashtag.
§ Chester LITerature FESTival
What’s more just a quick Google search with their new hashtag would show you why using this wouldn’t be a good idea (slightly NSFW). More interestingly, however, it seems up for debate whether or not Chester’s Literature Festival even sent this one.
Without wishing to have journalistic integrity to fall by the wayside, it’s more entertaining to believe it didhappen, isn’t it?
Hot off the press this new hashtag is at best confusing.
Who are we mourning here, Margaret Thatcher or Cher?
If I Could Turn Back Time I’d probably change the hashtag otherwise we’d have to correct each user One by One with our new found All or Nothing attitude. For Cher at least The Beat Goes On, but you’d have to have a Heart of Stone to not feel something over the news that Margret Thatcher is dead, right? Perhaps this sentiment may strike you as flippant or that you think the whole issue is a miner minor one?
Cher references aside (I know you all got at least one of them!), this is another classic case of hashtag confusion that has gone viral in seconds and is bound to get REALLY old within the next few days – you’ve got to love the internet, right?
Some may think accidentally inviting the world to a casual orgy of sorts is hardly a bad thing, but when Susan Boyle’s PR team failed to read and re-read a hashtag before hitting the send button, we get one of the most well-known hashtag fails ever.
Let’s break this one down into small pieces shall we?
§ #susasnalbumparty – How it was posted
§ #SusanAlbumParty – How it should have read
§ #SusAnalBumParty – How it was read
What we can learn from this is that even though with the correct casing in place, this hashtag could easily be misread or mistyped – so even if the team got it right it wouldn’t have taken long for someone to, “create” the misunderstanding. The PR team didn’t waste any time, however, and quickly changed the hastag to something less “confusing” – #SusanBoyleAlbumParty.
It was too late though, this remains as one of the most memorable hashtag fails ever.
Chris Green works for High Position, where you can find tips on how not to fail at hashtags, amongst other things.