The #oink  Twitter  campaign,  which occurred on Sunday, Aug. 16, tallied  over 10,000 tweets in its first 24 hours, according  to Web site wthashtag.com/oink.  A tweet is a posting of 140 characters or  less on the popular Internet social site.  Objectives of the Twitter campaign were  to urge the public and the media to drop  the reference to “swine flu” and stress that  pork is safe. 

The #oink designation, known in Twitter  jargon as a hashtag, organizes tweets  by subject allowing Twitter users to follow  the campaign. 

The campaign was highly successful  in explaining the appropriate use of H1N1  in referring to the infl uenza outbreak. 

“We raised a lot of awareness,” says Chris  Chinn, pork producer from Clarence, Mo.  “People didn’t think it was a negative to  refer to it as ‘swine flu’ until they learned the  devastating impact it has on pork producers  and family farmers. Once they realize, most  are cooperative in referring to it as H1N1.” 

Campaign supporters are urged to  continue with their tweets to reinforce the  message among Twitter users and the  media. “We want to continue the posting on  Twitter because pork industry detractors,  including animal-rights activists and vegans,  are using the platform to advance their  agenda,” Chinn adds.