CBA_April 13Report - page 10

April 2013 CBA REPORT
tech tip
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For the purpose of discussing the
symposium proceedings on Twitter, the
organizations chose to use the hashtag
This enabled anyone who
was interested in seeing what users had
to say about the symposium the ability
to log into Twitter, type #osljprivacy into
the search bar at the top of the screen,
and see the tweets that used that hashtag.
When searching tweets, you have three
options for displaying the results—top,
all, or people you know. These are pretty
self explanatory, top displays the tweets
most viewed by others (using Twitter’s
own internal algorithm), all displays all
the tweets using that hashtag, and people
you follow limits it only to those users
you have selected to follow.
When #good #hashtags go #bad
Now like everything online, you
should be aware that while #hashtags are
usually data aggregators, they can (and
are) easily hijacked by other users. There
is no one person who checks the con-
tent of or authenticates tweets or tweets
containing #hashtags. As a result, there
is nothing to prevent unsavory indi-
viduals from either hijacking #hashtags
themselves or creating bots (programs
that look for #hashtags and automatically
tweet) for their own interests. Depend-
ing on the nature of the #hashtag these
hijackings can either be malicious in in-
tent or just annoying. The most common
use of hijacking is to take a corporate
#hashtag and then use it with a nega-
tive testimonial to make the corporation
or product look bad and damage their
The other common type of hijacker
are those who take a #hashtag and simply
use it inappropriately—they have no goal
to damage whatever is associated with
the #hashtag, it is more that they think
they are funny and clever and want to
show everyone how funny and clever
they think they are. This type of hijacker
will often use the #hashtag in conjunc-
tion with risqué, pornographic, or
generally inappropriate content.
In conclusion, Twitter has become an
important method of communication,
especially among tech-savvy profession-
als. The addition of video sharing service
Vine demonstrates that Twitter is also
constantly changing to meet the needs of
its users. As it grows in popularity, it will
continue to connect professionals to new
and relevant information and to each
Hennies is a research librarian at Dinsmore & Shohl.
He provides research and reference assistance, updates
and maintains the library website, coordinates library
and Lexis training for attorneys and paralegals, and
provides assistance in a variety of online and electronic
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