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Hashtag Publics

The Power and Politics of Discursive Networks


Edited By Nathan Rambukkana

This collection investigates the publics of the hashtag. Taking cues from critical public sphere theory, contributors are interested in publics that break beyond the mainstream – in other publics. They are interested in the kinds of publics that do politics in a way that is rough and emergent, flawed and messy, and ones in which new forms of collective power are being forged on the fly and in the shadow of loftier mainstream spheres.
Hashtags are deictic, indexical – yet what they point to is themselves, their own dual role in ongoing discourse. Focusing on hashtags used for topics from Ferguson, Missouri, to Australian politics, from online quilting communities to labour protests, from feminist outrage to drag pop culture, this collection follows hashtag publics as they trend beyond Twitter into other spaces of social networking such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr as well as other media spaces such as television, print, and graffiti.
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Chapter Eight: Hashtags as Intermedia Agency Resources before FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil


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Hashtags as Intermedia Agency Resources before FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil1



In June 2013, protests erupted in several Brazilian cities during the Confederations Cup as a part of an intense political demonstration. Triggered by an increase in bus fares in São Paulo, these protests quickly highlighted new issues, such as the overexpenditure associated with the 2014 FIFA World Cup and governmental corruption.

Similar to people in other countries like Spain (during the 15M movement in 2011), and Egypt, Tunisia, and others (during Arab Spring in 2010–2012), the Brazilian people planned and communicated about these street protests primarily using online social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, evincing a complex interconnection between urban space and cyberspace. The most popularly utilized hashtag, #vemprarua (“come to the street”) demonstrates this. This hashtag created a hybridity between urban space and the Internet using online social networks to nudge the Brazilians to abandon their “slacktivism.”

After the Confederations Cup, the intense street protests transformed into a continuous discussion about the effects and consequences of holding the FIFA World Cup in the country. Social groups aiming to condemn the atrocities committed in the name of such a mega sporting event organized themselves around the phrase “there will be no World Cup,” which quickly branded the tweets, posts, and urban interventions with the hashtag #naovaitercopa. ← 115...

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