Trolling Newsweek is All the Rage on Twitter

The online response to Newsweek’s provocative “Muslim Rage” cover is another example of how hashtags can spin out of control and defy the intentions of the originators.

The newsmagazine courted controversy with a cover story on the riots shaking Muslim countries over an anti-Islam film that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad, and aimed to spark discussion and build buzz by starting the Twitter hashtag #MuslimRage.

In a move reminiscent of how Obama supporters hijacked GOP-sponsored hashtags, Muslims were quick to turn the #MuslimRage topic into a commentary on the story itself, which was written by the Somali-Dutch anti-Islam activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

A string of tweets tagged #MuslimRage flooded Twitter, mocking the very idea that the extremist rioters mirror the attitudes of mainstream Muslims any more than the anti-Muhammad film should be assumed to reflect the views of most Americans.

A sampling of this latest example of Twijitsu:

But Tahrir-tweeter and Arab Spring commentator Mohamed El Dahshan made a serious point:

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