The Student News Site of Canyon Vista Middle School

Canyon Echoes

The Student News Site of Canyon Vista Middle School

Canyon Echoes

The Student News Site of Canyon Vista Middle School

Canyon Echoes


    2015 was yet another undeniably crazy year filled with moments when the internet “broke”. In these moments of breaking, the internet did not crumble apart but rather, joined together. And just what in the world made it all possible?

    It would not have been possible without…the hashtag.

    This special character, however, wasn’t always known as the hashtag. Before any social media existed, the cross-hatched symbol was simply a “number sign” (E.g #3).

    We all know how the story goes on from there. Suddenly, a new thing called social media hit the world and then suddenly, the dainty symbol came to be–The symbol started popping up everywhere on social media. Hashtags came to be a part of everyday online language.

    The hashtag has only grown since.

    Below are the hashtags that made the year of 2015.


    Within 24 hours of the attack in Paris, 70 million people had taken their grief to social media sites like Instagram, and sent their prayers to Paris with the hashtag, #prayforparis. Friday the 13th of Nov came to be more than just a day of superstition, when terrorist groups targeted six sites in Paris. Those six sites would be victims for their attack plan.

    At least 129 lives were claimed, 352 people were wounded, and 99 were severely injured. Those weren’t the only lives affected, however. The whole world mourned the loss together.


    The hashtag #JesuisCharlie started after a massacre took place at the office of a French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. A dozen people were killed. The slogan soon came to represent support for the freedom of speech and journalists began using it to advocate freedom of self-expression.


    After multiple incidents of police brutality occurred within black communities, the social reform movement was created. Advocates of the movement pushed to end the racism in America with the rally cry “Black Lives Matter”. This slogan has always led to the creation of other “…. lives matter” movements.


    June 26 became a landmark moment for the LBGT community in 2015. The Supreme Court had ruled same-sex marriage legal within all fifty states. Online on Twitter and Instagram, users expressed their joy over the decision with the hashtag #lovewins accompanied by rainbow themed filters and emojis.


    Described as the “drama that divided a planet” (The Washington Post), a single dress took the world by storm in 2015. The dress birthed countless memes, jokes, and fiery debates. “Do you see blue and black, or white and gold?” was possibly the only question asked for a good part of February. Celebrities, politicians, journalists, and even scientists hopped onto the ever-growing debate. It seemed as no one could get enough of The Dress, and proving that their color perception was correct.

    Looking back, The Dress can be regarded as one of the most meaningless debates of the 2015– but it is also an accurate representation of how sometimes the strangest things become viral on the internet.


    Who would’ve thought making a clock could get you arrested?

    For Ahmed Mohamed, that was the case. The ninth grader from Texas had brought a self-made clock to school- but was accused of it being a bomb. He was arrested.

    The hashtag #istandwithahmed started growing as more and more people came to the defense of the Muslim teenager. They believed he had only been arrested because of his race/religion. They believed it would not have happened if the boy had been a white student.

    President Barack Obama tweeted, “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.” Many others tweets also encouraged Ahmed to continue to pursue science.


    Caitlyn Jenner made a statement when she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair with the title, Call Me Caitlyn. In the issue, her story of struggling over her gender was revealed. She had formerly been Bruce Jenner, but said that, “Bruce always had to tell a lie. He was always living that lie. Every day he always had a secret from morning to night. Caitlyn doesn’t have any secrets. Soon as the Vanity Fair cover comes out. I’m free.”

    What Students Think

    When Michelle Li (8) was asked what she remembered from the internet last year, she replied, “Donald Trump and his luxurious hair.”

    Reefa Maridia (8) answered immediately with, “The dress. Black and blue. White and gold.”

    Clearly, the hashtag is a vital part in jump-starting social movements. It brings the world together with people of similar beliefs and ideas. Without it, almost none of the issues above would have been as big as they were. So the next time you look at the hashtag/number sign hovering right over the 3 on your computer keyboard, thank it, and remember that it is one of the most powerful tools in expressing your voice.

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