The hashtag #replacebandnameswithrape isn't funny and is entirely offensive. So why is it trending?

As is the norm on Twitter these days, a controversial hashtag has found its way to the top of the trending charts largely because of people protesting against it.

Starting around 12 pm Eastern Time, the hashtag #replacebandnameswithrape has come and gone from Twitter’s trending list, collecting more than 11,000 mentions, according to statistics from Topsy.

Many of the top tweets featuring the hashtag protest its proliferationwhich in turn helps it proliferate.

“If you use this hashtag for your worthless comedy, you're actively normalizing sexual assault within our culture,” tweeted @redfivetwo.

“Humanity doesn't deserve Twitter if it gets things like #ReplaceBandNamesWithRape to trend,” tweeted the popular parody account @HAL9000_.

And of course, thousands of other tweeters actually did what the hashtag asked.

According to Topsy, the first person to start the trend was @caitlinsws of Australia, who tweeted the following message nine hours ago.

#ReplaceBandNamesWithRape 30 seconds to rape.”

Her account has since been suspended, but all her messages are still available, thanks to Topsy.

Each year there are about 207,000 victims of sexual assault in the U.S., according to statistics from the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. 54 percent of assaults are never reported to police and 97 percent of rapists will never see a jail cell, reported the network.

In other words, rape is never a laughing matter, regardless if you’re an award-winning comedian or regular teenager looking to make someone laugh.

Photo by renderdonkey

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