#ImARepublican hashtag gets hijacked

Like many other promotional hashtags before it, the political message spun out of control almost immediately.

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If you know that you have outspoken online critics because your organization is, say, a bank a lot of people blame for foreclosures or a police department with cases of using excessive force, then it may be best not to open yourself up to harsh ridicule by inviting comments with a branded Twitter hashtag.

That goes for political parties, too.

Since late September, people have been hammering Republicans using the #ImARepublican (sometimes repurposed as #IAmARepublican) hashtag. The hashtag is the brainchild of former Mitt Romney ad man Vinny Minchillo, and it’s part of a larger campaign to convince people who have characterized the Republican party as only being for rich, white men that it’s a diverse group of people who do things that well, Democrats are often stereotyped as doing.

Here’s an ad from the “Republicans are People Too” campaign that notes Republicans drive Priuses, recycle, and read The New York Times, among other things:

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