Most suddenly-popular Twitter hashtags refer to events or celebrities that currently are in the news. But every once in a while, one erupts out of nowhere to capture the mood of the Twitterverse.
The hashtag #fuckyouwashington is currently making the rounds in just that fashion. As explained in a post at tagdef.com, "Thousands of tweets erupted in a matter of hours on #Jul23 protesting the US's failed debt ceiling talks and general policies. Spurred by @JeffJarvis . Seen by some as part of #WorldRevolution or #USRevolution."
A second post helpfully adds, "Our discontent with the way things operate. It's gross."
Although the tag may have been inspired by the current impasse over raising the debt ceiling, it seems to have released a much wider sense of frustration. Within a few hours, message boards like Democratic Underground were gathering some of the best tweets using the tag.
"#FuckYouWashington For Forgetting WHO you represent, Families, Elderly,Moms,Kids, WORKERs..NOT the CoporatePigs who you cater to...#ShameOnU" one reads.
"#fuckyouwashington for sending our soldiers on 6, 7, 8 tours to combat zones yet thinking it's too much to ask the richest to pay taxes" say another.
And @YourAnonNews -- a Twitter account associated with Anonymous -- tweeted, "#FuckYouWashington for thinking activists are the same as terrorists."
Other tweets gathered by CBSNews blasted Washington for everything from the handling of last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill to the criminalization of marijuana to going after WikiLeaks while not holding Bush administration officials accountable for torture.
Jarvis is a journalism professor at the City University of New York, an expert on new media, and the author of What Would Google Do? Late on Saturday evening, he tweeted, "OK, my fellow citizens, it's up to you now," as though he felt content with what he had accomplished, but since then he has continued to promote use of the tag in his own tweets.
On Sunday morning, Jarvis retweeted a message from AnonyOps -- another account associated with Anonymous -- saying, "@jeffJarvis you've started a shit storm. Nice going." That seems to sum up much of the current feeling.
A current Twitter feed of posts using the tag can be found here.