Over the past few years (2014-2017), the use of the #ChangeTheDate hashtag has grown more than 5,000 per cent, according to Twitter Australia.
This year, the number of overall tweets discussing changing the date more than doubled, growing by 150% since 2016.
The #ChangeTheDate hashtag also experienced its biggest year yet, as the number of tweets including the phrase grew 1200 per cent since 2016.
This is a big jump from the already impressive growth statistics of recent years.
Twitter Australia told NITV News that that tweets promoting changing the date of the Australian national day doubled twice between 2014-2016.
Given the upward trend, Twitter is keeping tabs on the growth of hashtags related to the change the date movement.
How the conversation has evolved on Twitter
By midday Thursday, January 26, Twitter had already confirmed the conversation promoting changing the date had spiked dramatically, reporting that the number of tweets mentioning #ChangeTheDate had grown 850 per cent since 2016, an indication that the trend would continue upwards in the hours to follow. The number of tweets using #InvasionDay and #SurvivalDay had both grown by 200 per cent from 2014-2017.
By 11am, NITV’S own #AlwaysWillBe hashtag trended number three. The newly-created hashtag trended in Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne and Sydney.
According to online activists, this is evidence that internet activism or 'clicktivism', which is often criticised as a ‘lazy’ alternative to traditional activism, is actually another noteworthy way of relaying or broadcasting different points of views, and provides a platform for diverse causes.
This heatmap demonstrates how the tweeting played out over January 26, and shows peak times and locations for activity.
These were the top three most engaged tweets for the day, based on hashtag:
#ChangetheDate and #SurvivalDay
The top performing tweets for both #ChangetheDate and #SurvivalDay hashtags were Kon_K's "Let's never forget this is part of our Australian History" (same tweet that topped the list for the #AustraliaDay hashtag), followed by Kon_K's "My favorite cartoon" (below).
GetUp's "Incredible. 50K people gathered on Wurundjeri country in Melbourne for today's Invasion Day protest" was the third most re-tweeted for #Changethedate, and Bryanna_Smith's "Enjoy your BBQ" (which topped #Invasion Day) came third for #SurvivalDay.