This year, Urban Outfitters sold a "vintage" Kent State sweatshirt tastefully splattered with red paint while Donald Sterling's racial comments cost him his NBA franchise. It's been a raucous year in the public arena, expressed perfectly by a parade of PR blunders that is as impressive in scope as it is in sheer absurdity.
In the world of social media, the current question of Obama's immigration legacy can be summed up as this: Which will be the dominant tag, #DeporterInChief, or #GoBigObama? Anything Obama does will exist next to the 2 million deportations his enforcement has already carried out, more than any previous president.
Instead of using hashtags or the military, what if we could debate with the Sultan or Boko Haram about what Sharia demands? What if we could ask them to reflect on how their definition of Sharia could be updated to reflect today's world? To ask such questions is not only to critically know and engage the Islamic tradition, but also to remove the monopoly that Boko Haram claims on defining what Sharia is for everyone.
Suey Park is the Bitcoin of activism. Her hashtag movements are a digital phenomenon. Her value is determined by how much others buy into her. The lack of institutional backing allows her to disrupt the status quo. And just like digital currencies, hashtag activism is vulnerable to shadowy intrigues and corrupting influences.