Tens of thousands of Twitter users secured the Scottish Independence debate as the UK's top-trending subject on Thursday after a group of Edinburgh-based yes-voting artists launched a YouTube video using ‘#yesbecause’.
The social media platform was inundated with users giving their unique views on the union using the hashtag kickstarted by the artists who said they were keen on “arguing the positive case for Scottish independence and imagining a better Scotland."
On Wednesday, a day before the discussion went viral, ‘#yesbecause’ received over 23,000 mentions, a number that will be dwarfed when Thursday's figures are released.
I'm #YesBecause it's injustice that in nation as wealthy as ours people still have to choose between heating & eating http://t.co/e4FZCbmC5Y — Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) August 21, 2014
I'm #yesbecause the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Westminster has failed us. — Stephen Paton (@stephenpaton134) August 21, 2014
#YesBecause Iraq war, Trident, Daily Mail, Ed Balls promising to erect border posts at Gretna to keep immigrants out. — Iain Macwhirter (@iainmacwhirter) August 21, 2014
#YesBecause Tuition fees, Ukip, Bullingon, benefits cap — Iain Macwhirter (@iainmacwhirter) August 21, 2014
I’m voting #YesBecause Scotland will be able to show the world peacefully and democratically we can take Scotland’s future into our hands — Fiona McLeod MSP (@FionaMcLeodMSP) August 21, 2014
I'm #YesBecause independence it provides the opportunities (and duties) necessary for us all to more fully realise our true potential. — Keith Brown MSP (@KeithBrownMSP) August 21, 2014
#YesBecause I want rid of food banks and nuclear weapons and I want to see my grandkids prosper — Stuart Jack (@341656) August 21, 2014
One prominent tweet was from Dr Brooke Magnati, also known as Belle De Jour, who gave her reasons for voting yes: "I only became a citizen last year.The independence referendum is going to be my first vote here and the most significant thing I’ve ever voted in during my entire life.
"I think Scotland should be its own country... because it so obviously already is. Maybe I’m biased, born as I was in the US where we celebrate our revolution, where children in school learn about the enlightenment values that shaped our independence. Values that were, let’s not forget, very heavily influenced by Scottish thinkers."
The online campaign also spawned '#nobecause' which was used 581 times on Wednesday - although it did appear afterwards in response to the opposing hashtag.
I am #nobecause my politics are based on class, not identity. Because my family is Irish, Scots, English and I want best for grandchildren — Susan Dalgety (@SusanDalgety) August 21, 2014
Nonetheless, '#nobecause' was hijacked by yes voters to mock no voters in a sarcastic manner.
#NoBecause Better Together have promised me a free Parker pen just for enquiring. — Nice Guy Nick (@Neek1974) August 21, 2014
I'm #NoBecause my imaginary cat has threatened to castrate me in my sleep; he has issues with Salmond.....it's complicated — Gordon Sinclair (@ThistleWeb) August 21, 2014
I'm #nobecause I need Scotland's land, money and resources to cling on to my ideal of the UK as a world power. pic.twitter.com/dB2Oiz3OoJ — YesForScenes!! (@YesForScenes) August 21, 2014
A Yes Scotland group's Vine showed the volume of tweets from both hashtags. The majority of comments used '#yesbecause'.
This comes after former BBC general director Lord Birt said that Scotland would have to pay the price to access the broadcaster's quality content if it was to become an independent state.