By Jimmy Rogers
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Does it mean athletic competition, international relations, or human rights issues? What is this mysterious numeric sequence? Well, if you’re a Twitter user, it’s a special tag that lets you join in on a unique global campaign.
Today Twitter recognized the #080808 movement that has suddenly popped up all over the network. You see, the Olympics are beginning on the 8th of August in the year 2008. That translates to 08/08/08, no matter how you format your dates. A group of Chinese Twitterers has begun to use the specific “#080808” tag to mark posts about the Olympics on the opening day.
Normally this international athletic competition is marked by showings of world unity and universal human brotherhood, but since the selection of China as the host country, controversy has unceasingly washed over the Games. Some are going as far as to boycott the Olympics to show their disapproval of China’s treatment of Tibet. China has also attempted to clean up some of their slums near the games with mass-evictions. This hasn’t won them many friends either. The #080808 movement does not seem to have any particular stance on China, but it does allow anyone to criticize or celebrate this year’s Olympic games in a fundamentally international way.
So, how can you get involved? Well if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still watch everyone who posts about the opening day by tracking the special tag. If you do Tweet, let the world know what you’re up to on the 8th and add “#080808” anywhere in your posts. Make as many as you want – they’ll all make it into the search results.
For those of you who love to go above and beyond, make yourself a custom avatar to show off your support of #080808. The “source material” is available from the #080808 blog (which is bi-linqual: English and Chinese) in this post. If you need some inspiration, check out this awesome page of recent DIY avatars. Mine‘s even up there…can you find it?
Post your thoughts on the Summer Games and #080808 in the comments below. If you make a custom avatar, post a link to it!