We’ve all seen #them floating around on Twitter. #Hashtags are how we keep track of what’s trending, how we interact with each other and share information during events, and how many get discovered on #Twitter. Often, hashtags are witty or clever, getting us talking or laughing.  Or they help us organize what we are looking for, taking away the overwhelm as we try to build relationships with a specific niche of people.

Hashtags Gone BadWhen hashtags are used appropriately, Twitter fans #rejoice.  But… sometimes, things can go horribly wrong.

For example, last year McDonald’s put out a hashtag for #McDstories. This was a mistake – a huge huge mistake! People used the hashtag to tell detrimental stories about the brand. Someone wrote how they were “stabbed with a rusty nail in the ball pit.” Other tweeters related their obesity to eating McDonald’s, or wrote stories about foreign objects in their food. Yikes!

Let’s hear of another #hashtaggonebad story from our friends at Airline Qantas. They released the hashtag #QantasLuxury while thousand of their passengers were stranded overseas. They basically opened a Qantas Complaint Forum on Twitter. Oops! Not the best PR move.

So what have we learned from these #epicfails of our bigger brand name fiends? Make sure that your #hashtags will be used only for good. If you are in the middle of a scandal or have a large opposition to your brand or business, maybe the #hashtag isn’t for you! Remember folks, sarcasm runs rampant on the Internet so be careful. And Happy Tweeting!

Do you know of any more #badhashtags? Share with us below!