World hashtag supply running dangerously low

World hashtag supply running dangerously low

Ampersand trumpeted as alternative 

A bulletin released earlier this week by the United Nations High Commission on Hashtag Management declared an international state of emergency due to extremely low hashtag supplies.

While the U.N.’s report highlights several large social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook as the worst offenders, it is also careful to point out that individuals must curb their use as well. 

Some conservationists have recommended using the ampersand (&) as a resource-friendly alternative to hashtags; however, few have picked up the habit.

“Some just don’t think the ampersand will work as well, and the quality is much lower. Others just prefer the branding of the hashtag,” said Jennifer Naira of Save The Tag, a not-for-profit hashtag conservation group.

“The thing most people don’t know is that the hashtag used to be the pound key on telephones,” said Naira, referring to the archaic 20th century tradition of signalling the end of mechanically entered numbers.

“Now it’s been appropriated for another use. There’s no reason we can’t do the same for an underused symbol such as the ampersand,” she added.

Mark Idowu of the Hashtag Frontier disagrees, noting that “we are just setting ourselves up for depleting ampersand stocks around the world.” He instead emphasizes a return to traditional methods such as sharing a hyperlink via email or forwarding chain letters.

“These methods worked for our ancestors who settled the internet over 250 months ago,” said Idowu. “Why can’t they work in this modern age?”

Photo by Alora Griffiths/The Ontarion

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