Singapore Twitter hashtag #sg50shadesofgrey makes international headlines

The Fifty Shades Of Grey movie poster. -- PHOTO: UIP
The Fifty Shades Of Grey movie poster. -- PHOTO: UIP

SINGAPORE - Quirky local Twitter hashtag #sg50shadesofgrey, inspired by erotic box-office hit Fifty Shades Of Grey, has made headlines abroad.

The hashtag, a portmanteau of the film's name and Singapore's SG50 golden jubilee celebrations, was featured on the BBC and Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post.

It can be traced back to poet Alvin Pang, who simply posted "#SG50ShadesOfGrey go go" on his Facebook page on Feb 12. It has generated dozens of suggestive posts in the comments thread since, referencing anything from durians to Electronic Road Pricing. 

The idea has seemingly resonated with Hong Kongers, with netizens starting to turn to #HK50ShadesofGrey for their dose of innuendo-filled localised humour.

BBC trending, which monitors worldwide trends online, posted a short video on the phenomenon on Monday, noting that the hashtag had been used more than 60,000 times.

Said Mr Pang in an interview with the British broadcaster: "Why #sg50shadesofgrey? Well, this year is the year the movie is coming out, but it also happens to be the year Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence.

"Singapore has long had this stereotypical reputation for being straight-laced, kind of boring, not very creative, clean, efficient but dull. And I thought we really ought to change that."

Here are the tweets BBC Trending featured in its video.

mklee@sph.com.sg