Conservative Twitter Hashtag Breaks Up

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Apr 30, 2009 5:20 PM
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Top conservatives on Twitter -- including yours truly (@mattklewis) -- have been using the #tcot hashtag when posting our Tweets.

(For those not on Twitter, hashtags allow others to quickly search for like-minded people or topics. For example, a post about Rush Limbaugh would be tagged #Rush and a post about the President might be tagged #Obama.  The #tcot tag has been valuable in helping conservatives on Twitter network with each other)

Conservative blogger Bill Beutler even speculated that hashtags were the key to conservative success on Twitter.

But now, there is trouble in #tcot world. As TPM reports,

The #tcot movement is (or was) the brainchild of conservative activists Rob Neppell and Michael Patrick Leahy. Together, the two created #tcot-themed websites, and when the idea went viral, it seemed like they had a good thing going.

... And then today, everything came to a head. "I do not feel comfortable continuing to operate...with a partner who deliberately refuses to communicate with me on fundamental issues," a scorned Nessel wrote an his now defunct website.

Rob Neppell (@rneppell -- formerly known as N.Z. Bear) is a well-known conservative blogger. He apparently took the Top Conservatives on Twitter website (which ranked conservatives on Twitter based on followers and other criteria) down earlier today (you can read his message here). Michael Patrick Leahy (@michaelpleahy) -- now his nemesis -- seemed to come out of nowhere. Right now, the battle is being fought over Twitter, where Leahy vows to put the site back up and Neppell says this would violate their agreement. (What are the odds this is a publicity stunt??)

Of course, this doesn't prevent conservatives from using the #tcot hashtag for search-ability reasons, but it is an interesting story -- especially considering the backdrop of conservative and Republican infighting. Even our hashtags can't get along ...