A hashtag launched today by President Obama to push his tax cuts plan was quickly appropriated by a conservative think tank.
In the face of the approaching "fiscal cliff," Obama began promoting the hashtag #My2K on Twitter today as a way of encouraging discussion about his plan to preserve tax cuts for the middle class while letting expire those tax cuts on Americans households earning more than $250,000. The hashtag reflects the extra $2,000 the average middle class family of four could expect to pay if the tax cuts are allowed to expire.
The president used the hashtag in a tweet this morning encouraging his some 20 million followers to contact their congressional representatives:
"Call your members of Congress. Write them an email. Tweet it using the hashtag #My2K." --President Obama— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 28, 2012
Obama's Twitter followers took note and soon pushed #My2K to the top of Twitter's trending list.
However, the hashtag also caught the notice of the influential conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, which bought the promoted tweet for the term. The purchase meant that everyone who searched for the hashtag on Twitter would also see the organization's ad promoting a blog post titled "4 reasons why Warren Buffett is wrong on tax hikes!"
Ericka Andersen, social media director for the Heritage Foundation, told The Wall Street Journal that the think tank bought the promoted tweet this morning ahead of an Obama speech on the topic after catching wind that the president was going to use the hashtag.
Political use of promoted tweets has gained prominence in recent months. After a debate with Obama in which Republican challenger Mitt Romney referenced Big Bird on "Sesame Street," PBS bought a promoted tweet that read, "PBS is trusted, valued and essential. See why at http://www.valuepbs.org."