Hog Producers and Supporters #Oink it Up on Twitter

On Sunday, hog producers and other farmers from around the country, along with ag supporters, used the microblogging site Twitter to urge the media to use the scientifically accurate term “H1N1” rather than swine flu when referring to influenza. Messages about how pork is safe to eat and that human-to-human contact, not pork consumption, spreads H1N1 also were tweeted. Twitter users added #oink—known as a hashtag—to each message (tweet) in support of hog producers.

Over time, the sheer volume of posted tweets led to #oink showing up as a “trending topic” on Twitter, sparking interest and questions from the non-farming public. The twittering hog producers and others responded by providing links to online resources, such as the FBlog with Chris Chinn’s post “The Week H1N1 Stole the Farm.” Chinn’s post was viewed nearly 3,500 times during the #oink-fest and several hundred people took a look at her YouTube video about modern hog production on a family farm.


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