Jenny McCarthy’s #JennyAsks Hashtag Hijacked

Jonathan Bernstein crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Erik Bernstein, internet crisis management, internet reputation management, Jonathan Bernstein, online crisis management, online reputation management, PR, reputation management, social media, social media crisis management, social media reputation management, strategic reputation management, Twitter Leave a Comment

The dangers of social media self-promotion

Twitter hashtag hijackings have become a common form of both protest and entertainment for the Internet crowd. McDonalds has run awry of this several times recently, most notably with its #McDStories campaign that drew out thousands of extremely creative, and often stomach-turning, tweets tweaking the company, as also happened to Quantas airlines, Walgreens, and many more.

Now, you can add actress/model/TV host Jenny McCarthy to join the list, after she faced the wrath of Twitter users. Here’s her (seemingly benign) post that kicked it all off:

Seems pretty harmless, right? That is, until you consider the fact that McCarthy has been an extremely vocal anti-vaccination activist, a position that has those on the other side of the debate heated up (a debate we’re not going to touch with a ten-foot pole, in case you were wondering). Within 24 hours, pro-vaccination posters had completely and utterly hijacked the #JennyAsks hashtag, with tweets like these summing up the type of sentiment expressed by most:



Here’s the deal – before starting any hashtag campaign, it’s smart social media crisis management to consider how it could be used against you, and exactly how much impact a hijacking could have. While negative sentiment may circulate either way, creating a way for your detractors to connect and focus their energy, and attracting many more who are simply game to jump in on the latest trollfest for fun, is often a #badidea.

The BCM Blogging Team

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