We are all guilty of getting a bit excited when we launch a new product, marketing campaign or even business. But please, please, please check your hastags and any domains used.

Sometimes when the name is used within a hastag, domain or anything else that removes the spaces, the name takes a completely different meaning.

High profile examples in the past include

Susan Boyle Album Party, which when used as a hashtag to promote her new album became ‘#susanalbumparty’ a.k.a. ‘sus anal bum party’. What started as something perfectly innocent was twisted as it can be read either way.

A panic ensured when anti-thatcher individuals used the hashtag ‘#nowthatchersdead’ to ‘celebrate’ when she passed away. The hashtag was instead read as ‘now that Chers dead’, leading to the singer Cher having to confirm that she was alive and well.

And now the Mayor of London has made a similar mistake with the release of a new website last week designed to promote cycling in the capital. The website is www.cycleskillsonline.tfl.gov.uk, which should be read as ‘Cycle Skills Online’ but instead reads as ‘Cycles Kill Online’. Which has lead to A LOT of very funny memes online.

Learn from these mistakes and ensure that you triple check your hashtags and domains, and perhaps even get a second opinion, to ensure that the hashtag or domain cannot be misread.

Published: 28th Jul 2020

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