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Which Are Better: Open Source or Proprietary Twitter Hashtags? #FOShashtags

By Wayan Vota on April 1, 2014


Hashtags are the communication currency on Twitter, and since their introduction into the #ICT4D community by @Kiwanja, the father of modern ICT4D, they’ve been freely created and shared as Open Source technology. However, with @JSelanikio‘s recent copyrighting of #MagpiSolvesEverthing, a new form of proprietary hashtags have emerged.

The Open Source community, along with many practitioners working on the ground, have expressed concern over this development:

  • How will underserved communities access and appropriate closed-sourced hashtags?
  • What new training or capacity building will beneficiaries constituents need to navigate this new digital/legal realm?
  • Could youth-focused organizations leverage hashtag emergence on Facebook to inspire young people to be hashtag infomediaries in rural areas?
  • Should we insist on #FOShashtags in all publicly funded interventions?

These questions currently have no answer, and are creating a crisis in hashtag confidence. Please RSVP now via #FOShashtags to join us for the next ICTworks Twitter Chat, where @Wayan_Vota, the official #ICT4D Hashtag Evangelist, will moderate a debate with noted experts on this mission-critical issue:

We’ll hear from:

  • @JSelanikio on the superiority of proprietary hashtags in development
  • @KarlWBrown on Open Source hashtags as the foundation for inclusive development
  • @Meowtree on the role of online-offline hashtag mediation by youth
  • @MattHaikin on recycled Open Source hashtags for rural populations
  • @SteveSong on the corporate conspiracy to privatize hashtag whitespace
  • @KRoggemann on #scaling #the #use #of #hashtags #in #private-#public #partnerships
  • @Integrilicious on transparent hashtags as a driver of accountable government
  • @GLaM_Leo on innovations in open, gender friendly hashtagging technology
  • @IThorpe on the need for hashtag inclusion in the Post-2015 agenda
  • @JamesBT on the death of hashtags as a form of development assistance

Our goal is to surface collective resilience to hashtag insecurity across the developing world, with a special emphasis on emerging economies.

FOSS vs. Proprietary Hashtags
April 1st Twitter Chat
12-noon Eastern Time
Oval Office (Blue Room)
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20036

Please RSVP now via #FOShashtags to be confirmed for attendance. Seating is limited for this in-person only event, and once we reach our 5,000,000-person capacity there will be a waiting list.

Big thanks to @Fortuny for this topic idea

Filed Under: Featured, Thought Leadership
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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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One Comment to “Which Are Better: Open Source or Proprietary Twitter Hashtags? #FOShashtags”

  1. Mike McKay says:

    @wayan will pass around the crack pipe to get conversation flowing and anybody found not interrupting someone else’s long winded and boring point about how awesome they are will be stripped of one item of clothing.