Nigerian Schoolgirls and Hashtag Activism

By now, you and everyone you know has demanded on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to #BringBackOurGirls. The hashtag has spread virally, rightly sparking global outrage over the violence inflicted on the young Nigerian women by the militant group Boko Haram. But are there unintended consequences to this kind of hashtag activism?

June 1 marked one-and-a-half months to the day that more than 200 Nigerian girls were abducted from a secondary school in the north-eastern village of Chibokby a group of Islamist militants known as Boko Haram. An obscure news story for weeks, it suddenly became ubiquitous with the viral hashtag #BringBackOurGirls raising a global outcry.

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