On Monday, June 29, Fifty Shades of Grey’s E.L. James decided to offer her fans a chance at “chatting” with her on Twitter and started with the tag #AskELJames.
This is not the first celebrity account to ever put the #Ask tag on Twitter. It is also not the first time that using the tag has backfired horribly:
In E.L. James’ case, Twitter users began asking her questions designed to point out some of what many critics have referred to as sincerely bad parts of her book that cast women in a submissive light and seem to promote things like workplace harassment.
Fans like Jim Dondero (bloomberg.com) agree that James should have done her research before using the tag. The creative folks at The CW probably could have warned her about why it is one of the worse tags to use on Twitter: Twitter users often use #Ask as a social protest tag.
When The CW promoted the #AskSupernatural tag it backfired so badly that they had to pull the original tweet. Fans and critics of the show kept firing off hundreds of questions about why Supernatural’s writers and cast seemed to be increasingly promoting with every season stereotypes, discrimination and other issues, such as queerbaiting, misogyny and racism.
Unless a work is loved by everyone and has no negative aspects to it at all, a creative is “asking” for bad publicity by using the #Ask tag.