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Today is the 10th anniversary of Chris Messina suggesting that the pound symbol could be used to tag and organize tweets, thereby tagging and organizing people, ideas, and images. Can you believe it?

Back then, we had no idea what to do with the hashtag. But it’s evolved over the last 10 years: it’s been used to assist news gatherers, make jokes, share bland advice, force musical projects to “trend,” vote for awards, submit to contests, indicate sponsored content, declare oneself “#blessed,” and react to events that are not group triumphs, but feel like they are. It’s been used ironically and sincerely and snarkily and commercially. It’s been used for cathartic group conversations and sneering collective vent sessions. The hashtag…

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