Bring Back Our Girls: The Power of the Hashtag
#BringBackOurGirls has led the world to pay attention to the plight of nearly 300 girls who were kidnapped from their school in Northeastern Nigeria. The world continues to pay attention to this unimaginable crime and foreign governments are now assisting the Nigerian government to find the girls, rescue them and bring them home safely. All this happened largely as a result of a number of people galvanizing the world to action by harnessing the power of social media. The world was united by the hash tag which propelled the plight of missing girls to the front pages of newspapers around the world. Rallies were organized all around the world and attended by every one from well-known celebrities to ordinary people who gave their voices to a situation which would have remained shuttered away had it not been for the hash tag.
|Protesters outside the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC|
While many are currently disputing the origin of the hash tag BringBackOurGirls, it takes away the fact that the hash tag was created in the first place and the profound impact this has had on the whole world, showcasing the power of social media to make things happen. I will not add to that debate but simply say, the hash tag was created and the world paid attention. Whatever the origination, the hashtag BringBackOurGirls united the world under one umbrella. On a personal note, as a Nigerian who lives in the diaspora and feeling helpless in finding what to do to rally support for the missing girls, the hashtag made me feel empowered as I felt I was contributing to make the world know, understand and identify with the situation in Nigeria by uniting me with fellow compatriots