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When the Occupy Wall Street protests began on September 16, #OccupyWallStreet was the only related hashtag used on Twitter. Soon some folks started using #OccupyWallSt too.

Shorter is better on Twitter, since you only have 140 characters to say your piece, so when the protests really started getting media traction with the arrests of Saturday, September 26 some folks started using #OWS as a zippier alternative. That tag didn’t really catch on until this last Wednesday, though, when the folks behind @OccupyWallSt tweeted this:

 @OccupyWallSt: Let’s stop the hash tag soup and use #ows for OccupyWallStreet

That tweet had an immediate and powerful effect.


#OWS, represented in yellow on the chart, spiked up on Wednesday evening, while #OccupyWallSt plummeted. At about noon yesterday #OWS actually overtook the original #OccupyWallStreet tag in popularity, and it’s been running at about 50% higher traffic ever since.

#OccupyWallStreet is still getting a lot of traffic, since it’s the most established hashtag, and the clearest. But #OWS is the new default, and #OccupyWallSt is dying. Spread the word…

About This Blog

n7772graysmall is the work of Angus Johnston, a historian and advocate of American student organizing.

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