Part of a series on 2014 Ebola Outbreak. [View Related Entries]

Updated Oct 24, 2014 at 06:31PM EDT by Brad.

Added Oct 24, 2014 at 04:57PM EDT by Don.

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#Ebowla, a portmanteau of the words "bowl" and "Ebola", is a tongue-in-cheek hashtag that began circulating on Twitter after news media outlets reported that New York-based doctor Craig Spencer had gone bowling in Brooklyn after contracting the Ebola virus in West Africa.


On October 23rd, 2014, The New York Times[1] reported that doctor Craig Spencer, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, Africa, had been placed in isolation at Bellevue Hospital Center after testing positive for the virus. The article also revealed that Spencer had traveled on the subway and visited a bowling alley in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Following the news, Twitter users began joking about the doctor's bowling alley visit with the hashtag #Ebowla.[3]


That evening actor Jason Biggs joked that the doctor went bowling intentionally for the puns on Twitter,[3] receiving upwards of 870 favorites and 520 retweets in the next 24 hours. According to the Twitter analytics site Topsy,[4] there were over 2,100 tweets containing the keyword "ebowla" in the first 24 hours.

Jason Biggs @JasonBiggs Follow The NYC Ebola patient went bowling last night. Guarantee he did it intentionally for the twitter puns. #Ebowa #EBowling わt ★ RETWEETS FAVORITES 522 10:53 PM-23 Oct 2014

News Media Coverage

On October 23rd, The New York Times[5] Well blog reported that it would be difficult for Ebola to spread on a bowling ball or any other hard, dry surfaces. On October 24th, Time Magazine[6] published an op-ed by writer Charlotte Alter titled "The #Ebowla Jokes Need to Stop," which criticized the Twitter jokes and those who scrutinized Dr. Spencer and his character. In the coming days, additional news sites reported on the hashtag, including Epoch Times,[7] The Daily Dot[8] and E! Online.[9]

Notable Examples

Follow Craig Ward @MrCraigWard The E-bowl-a' and 'Williamsburg had Ebola before it was coo.. joks are making this wwholk: thinj casicer » digest. 10:04 PM - 23 Oct 2014 12 RETWEETS 16 FAVORITES Lane Moore @hellolanemoore Follow if NY Post doesn't have "Williamsburg Bowling Alley Bowled Over By eBOWLa" as tomorrow's headline then what are they even doing over there わt ★ RETWEETS FAVORITES 51 109 age 10:33 PM-23 Oct 2014 Peter Pony Clement | Follow @DJPONYNYC soon, too soon. #BrooklynEbowa わt ★ ..。 4:11 PM-24 Oct 2014 Quinn Sutherland Follow 1. Bowling 2. Dinner with friends 3. Having Ebola Thai's still a ber tn than I had last niglii. 12:19 AM-24 Oct 2014 1RETWEET 19 FAVORITES

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