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This article is also missing any mention of Jaiku. Jaiku originally had channels that were marked by the pound sign. You could actually send a Jaiku to a channel and it would not show up in your stream. Of course, that came from other systems that used pound signs before it, but the idea of grouping together social media ideas around a certain meta concept started at Jaiku. Twitter users that were frustrated that Twitter wouldn't add the channel feature decided to advocate for the hashtag. And this all happened well before Chris Messina's tweet in Aug 2007, but if I remember correctly, that Tweet was the one that rallied most people around the pound sign versus the other suggestions that were out there. grandeped (talk) 04:14, 03 Jul 2014 (UTC)

Please improve article[edit]

This article is #As Clear As Mud - please can someone improve it, and especially give examples for each of the usages! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:05, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. I came here to learn about HashTags. After reading the entry I'm none the wiser. (talk) 08:50, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Article Terminology[edit]

When its written: "characters led by a pound sign" there should be a link to: So ppl outside US know the sign has a different name there. (talk) 22:31, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Hear hear. (As someone for whom the "Pound Sign" generally means a £, that statement did jolt the parsing bit of my brain, momentarily.) Either that, or change the text to "number sign", even though that's also imperfect. Or... after all, it's the name the tag itself is derived from... "hash symbol"??? In the latter case also linked (as per the very first reference) to the Number Sign page, I should think.
I have added 'referred to as the hash symbol outside north America' which is true and it also explains the origin of the term hashtag! Splenius (talk) 04:27, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

The ASCII character set and its successors call # "Number sign". Documentation: Calling it "pound sign" or "octothorpe" doesn't seem the best choice since the character is chosen from the ISO-8859-1 standard's repertoire. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DHR (talkcontribs) 20:52, 4 December 2016 (UTC)


Is it true that hashtags were invented in the context of Twitter? Or is there a link to IRC channels? Hugh Mason (talk) 01:43, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, folks on IRC have been using hashtags for years for groups, topics and channels. The idea itself is not new. In fact, it is basically used the same way. Diskotech (talk) 17:42, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
here's an article supporting this claim:

The Twitter hashtag was first introduced by Twitter user Chris Messina on August 23, 2007, and explained in full two days later in a blog post entitled "Groups for Twitter; or A Proposal for Twitter Tag Channels." Messina's intent was to use hashtags similarly to how they had been used for years in IRC chat rooms: to mark individual messages as relevant to a particular group, and to mark individual messages as belonging to a particular topic or "channel."

Diskotech (talk) 17:44, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I used IRC heavily from 1993 through the 1990s and into the 2000s and I do not support the claim of "marking individual messages as relevant to a particular group," nor does the Wikipedia entry on IRC make any mention of this. The # character was and has always been one of many prefixes for channel names, and the most common one. Chris Messina probably misunderstood # as the way that IRC identifies all channels, and that is incorrect. # is merely the notation used by the underlying protocol for "global" channels. IRC users never used #<word> as some kind of search idiom, the way it is used today. Nearly all of the time, /JOIN #<channel> was the only use of the # character on IRC. In my opinion, the hashtag as search idiom was Mr. Messina's invention alone. I am willing to accept IRC logs predating August 23, 2007, proving me otherwise.
Jgotts1 (talk) 21:24, 09 April 2013 (UTC)

According to RFC 1459 section 2.3.1 irc channel prefixes can be an ampersand — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Http URLs with hash anchors[edit]

Could you address whether anchors in HTML syntax have the same origin or not? --Sarnobat (talk) 18:29, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Facebook Sourcing[edit]

While I have encountered hashtags on facebook, I couldn't find a good site to cite proving their use. (talk) 05:26, 15 August 2012 (UTC)[edit] went out of business in July 2012. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

define it![edit]

The definition at the beginning would ONLY be acceptable to someone who already knows the definition, it's worthless.

"short messages... may be tagged" , "provide a means of grouping such messages"???

WHY DO YOU TAG SHORT MESSAGES? What is it's function? What am I implying when I use this symbol? Why would I want to "group such messages"?

I am now going to search the net to figure out what hashtag means. Pb8bije6a7b6a3w (talk) 14:04, 6 August 2013 (UTC) This hashtag talk....bothers us! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:00, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

"Why do you tag short messages" - explicit topicalisation Leondz (talk) 11:32, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Fake Jimbo Wales screenshot[edit]

Do we really need a self-indulgent mockup of Jimbo Wales starring in a Wikimeet video that never existed, to illustrate the concept of "a hashtag may be displayed on the corner of a screen in a television show"? --McGeddon (talk) 12:20, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

List of hashtags[edit]

I know you'll correctly refer me to Be bold but ... what a shame nobody's yet, it seems, made a section (or article?) for a list of common hashtags. Some [who?] may argue that Wikipedia should in any case be above the lowest-common-denominators of social media. However, I came to visit WP on this occasion to find out what the apparently-Twitter-trending "#oomf" meant, & found no entry. (FWIW, it apparently means "one of my friends/followers", but that's by the by.)

So, anyone have time for starting such a section? Trafford09 (talk) 13:43, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Searching for the meaning of a particular hashtag would be a task better suited for urban dictionary and not Wikipedia (talk) 16:49, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


When did pound sign turn into hashtag? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

I've wondered that myself. Been around programmers/sysadmins since the mid 80's and the Internet since it began. The '#' symbol was always pronounced 'pound', similar to the symbol '$' being pronounced 'string' or 'dol' (depending on specific usage). Everybody knew what you meant. Should a reference to the origin word 'pound' be made besides the short mention in Messina's Tweet? SeamusCraic (talk) 22:21, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Interesting question. In the UK we've always pronounced # as "hash", because pound is £. I believe the pound pronunciation applies solely to US and Canadian English. Technically the symbol is in fact an octothorpe. Leondz (talk) 11:30, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Hashtag? IRC? Twitter?[edit]

Funny, this symbol was around long before any of those were invented. I've always known it as a pound sign or number sign. Why doesn't this article even give mention to this? Since when did history start at the point Twitter was invented? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mhefford (talkcontribs) 12:35, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 24 November 2014[edit]

Examples of a hashtags: #likeorangejuice (talk) 01:14, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 02:14, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Use of "hashtag" as a name for the "#" sign[edit]

This article doesn't cover the use of the word "hashtag" to mean the "#" sign itself (rather than the "#" sign followed by one or more characters), and I think it should. An example I saw recently:

Sometimes he puts a hashtag after a word, which is both silly and hilarious. [1]

(i.e. he writes things like "coffee#" instead of "#coffee"). I can probably dig up some WP:RS about it if people agree. Marnanel (talk) 21:17, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

This article doesn't describe that usage because that usage is incorrect. One example of incorrect usage doesn't make it notable. At best, what the cited source is trying to say is that folks can (erroneously) create a hashtag with a character symbol (#) at the end of the tag phrase instead of the beginning, but it does not establish that it is correct to use the word "hashtag" to refer to the symbol "#" itself, only to refer to a word or unspaced phrase with the # symbol at the end or the beginning. Dwpaul Talk 21:34, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
"Incorrect" doesn't mean it's something that shouldn't be mentioned. This was one example to demonstrate what I was talking about; I'm not trying to claim that it's proof that it's a widespread usage all on its own, and I do often see people, especially younger people, calling the "#" symbol "hashtag". As I said, I'll try to dig up some WP:RS. Marnanel (talk) 23:28, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
If you can find and cite sources that show the incorrect usage is notable, please do. I'm skeptical that they exist. Dwpaul Talk 23:34, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Case sensitivity[edit]

The article does give examples of mixed-case hashtags, but it doesn't explicitly say that they are treated in a case-insensitive manner, which it should. Also, that "camel case" is often recommended to avoid ambiguities. These can mirror the well-known domain name faux pas, such as SpeedOfArt rather than SpeedoFart, or ChooseSpain rather than ChoosesPain. TonyP (talk) 14:53, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Social Activism and Recent Examples[edit]

The article could be improved by creating a section exploring the Hashtag's use in social activism, this has been briefly addressed in the introduction but was not explored in greater detail. A link to the Hashtag Activism Wikipedia would also be useful to provide further information. Also the examples of Hashtag use in the popular culture section should be updated with more recent example such as #smartgirlsask or #askhermore Hashtags which developed over the 2014 and 2015 Hollywood award events to encourage reporters to ask women more than who they are wearing. Em274 (talk) 19:14, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Definitely agreed, and it's mentioned in adaptations, the Hashflags are used to amplify social movements from #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, to various elections and Pride rallies such as in Turkey as of this writing #OnurYürüyüşü #Pride and of course historically in the Green Revolution of Iran, and Arab Spring in general. Shushugah (talk) 20:33, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Non-standard characters?[edit]

Some discussion is needed on treatment of special characters. I haven't found any reliable sources. Letters without diacritics (such as accents, ç, ñ, ü, etc.), digits, and the underscore are always safe, and capitals and lower case are treated as the same. It seems that some other characters are OK, but this probably varies with different clients, and may change in time. What about accented characters? What about unspaced things like "Here is a comment-#ThisIsIt:followed by unspaced punctuation"? I find, in the aftermath of the 19 Sep 17 Mexican earthquake, that #FuerzaMéxico and #FuerzaMexico are both accepted on Twitter, and treated as the same in searches; it's a bit of a stretch for me to generalise to "letters with diacritics are treated in the same way as the same letters without diacritics on all systems". If I had to make a recommendation, I'd say to avoid all but the things I've listed as safe, as I don't know what else can be guaranteed always to work as expected—but of course Wikipedia doesn't advise, and I may be over-cautious.Pol098 (talk) 20:20, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Chinese example[edit]

The example given for Chinese uses text such as ("e.g. '我 #爱 你' instead of '我#爱你'"). It would be better, I think as a non-Chinese speaker, to use an example hashtag with 2 or more characters; the existing example might suggest that a hashtag is always a single character (maybe it is? I don't know. If so, it should be stated). Pol098 (talk) 14:39, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

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