As the crisis in Nigeria involving nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls continues, news about them is spreading far and wide. The hashtag #bringbackourgirls reportedly has been tweeted more than one million times. This map allDigitocracy created using trendsmap.com shows how widely the hashtag had spread this morning, as of 12:18, May 9, 2014.
The map shows the topic of the abducted girls are being talked about all across the globe, but most especially in the Americas and Africa. “The hashtag spread in the US, first slowly and then with a spike, after it first circulated mostly among the large (at least million) Nigerian expat community as well as black feminist groups on Twitter,” reports TechPresident.com.
There’s been some dispute (and here) about who, and where, the hashtag actually got started, but there can be no doubt that it has had an impact. Even First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have joined the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Obama shared a picture of herself with this caption: ‘Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families.’
The initial abductions took place more than a month ago, and at first outcry surrounding the horrendous actions of Boko Haram, a reported extreme Islamic group that condemns the influence of Western education, was slow to take hold in the US and other parts of the globe. But now, with help from the urgent battle cry #BringBackOurGirls, shock has replaced disbelief and complacency in most parts of the world. Below are ways this heartwrenching story continues to be covered.
- According to the Nigerial blog 360nobs.com, Nigerian police are offering 50 million naira, about $31,000, for information leading to the girls’ rescue.
- The British television network ITV profiles Ibrahim Abdullahi who it reports created the #BringBackOurGirls twitter campaign.
- Nigeria’s Vanguard Newspaper reports that France and China have offered join the search for the girls who were abducted on April 14. The United States and the United Kingdom are already lending assistance.
- Vanguard columnist Is’haq Modibbo Kawu examines how and why the #BringBackOurGirls protests have transcended Nigeria’s ethnic, social and religious differences.
- Attendees of the International Association of Women Judges conference in Tanzania asked the United Nations and the African Union to join the search for the #girlsofChibok, according the DailyNews, a Tanzanian news site.
- Washington Post social media reporter Caitlin Dewey steps back from events to question the effectiveness of so-called hashtag activism. According to the story, more than one million people have tweeted #bringbackourgirls. Dewey compares and contrasts #bringbackourgirls with #Kony2012 and #JusticeforTrayvon.