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Is #BringBackOurGirls Helping The Abducted School Girls in Nigeria?

| May 16, 2014 | 120 Comments
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First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted out a picture in support of the abducted Nigerian school girls. Since then, it has been retweeted more than 50,000 times

First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted out a picture in support of the abducted Nigerian school girls. Since then, it has been retweeted more than 50,000 times


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #DoNowNigeria

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

Do you think the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is making a difference in the kidnapping case of more than 200 Nigerian school girls? Or do you think the hashtag is ineffective and oversimplifying the issue? What are the opportunities/challenges of using social media for social justice issues?

Introduction

Over a month ago, the radical Islamist Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 300 girls in Chibok village in the northeast part of the country. Later, 50 girls managed to escape. Now, the militant leaders responsible for the kidnapping claim they will sell the girls, and say they are “slaves.”

However, despite the severity of the situation, few were aware of the crime even weeks after it had occurred. The president of Nigeria took no action to save the girls and Nigeria’s first lady even cast doubt on whether a kidnapping had taken place at all.

But after the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls first appeared on Twitter, news of the kidnapping began to spread over the Internet.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the hashtag “was first used on April 23 at the opening ceremony for a Unesco event honoring the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt as the 2014 World Book Capital City. A Nigerian lawyer in Abuja, Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, tweeted the call in a speech by Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, vice-president of the World Bank for Africa to ‘Bring Back the Girls!’”

Since then, major public figures like Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Queen Latifah and Ellen Degeneres.

However, not everyone is so enthused by the hashtag, saying that it’s just another example of “hashtag activism” that will not result in any real world change.

“The drive to save the Nigerian girls has also been criticized as being overly simplistic and ultimately ineffective,” reports the PBS NewsHour.

Nigerian-American author and photographer Teju Cole criticized the movement on social media in a series of tweets.

Still, more than one million tweets have been tagged with #BringBackOurGirls, undeniably making it a global movement and putting pressure on leaders in Nigeria and around the world to do something about the missing girls.

Resource

PBS NewsHour video How rescuing the abducted Nigerian girls became an intl cause
Nearly a month since the Islamist group Boko Haram attacked a village in Nigeria and made off with more than 300 girls, that country’s government and military have been criticized for failing to do more. Amnesty International has reported that officials failed to prevent the attack, despite being warned. Jeffrey Brown examines the international social media campaign that has sprung up in reaction.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowNigeria

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets. You can visit our video tutorials that showcase how to use several web-based production tools. Of course, do as you can… and any contribution is most welcomed.


More Resources

The Guardian debate ‘Dear world, your hashtags won’t #BringBackOurGirls’
Thanks for your concern, but calling for America rather than Nigeria to take action does more harm than good, says Jumoke Balogun

The Guardian debate Nigeria: in defence of hashtags and #BringBackOurGirls
Social media has made a difference in the search for the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram, says Marissa Jackson

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Category: Do Now: Government and Civics

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About the Author ()

Using the standards and resources of PBS’s NewsHour, PBS NewsHour Extra provides students and teachers with quality educational resources based on current issues and events.
  • 18kgoe

    Using a hashtag will not bring back the girls, but if enough people use it and enough people see it, they might write to the government and they will take more action to try and find them.

    • 18tmon

      I also think that it will not bring back the Nigerian girls. But I don’t think that writing to the government will help. I think this can help bring awareness to what is going on and might help stop something like this in the future.

      • 18kgoe

        Agreed :).

    • 18vmon

      I think many social groups have already written to the government and they have noticed the items on social media. They have responded in a public way but they have not done anything to help.

  • 18vmon

    I do think that this movement helps raise awareness on the issue but I think social media is being used in the wrong way. We should find out of protest groups in Nigeria need money to help for their cause. If they do need funds we could sell t-shirts through social media or sell other supportive merchandise to help.

  • 18jcol

    I think it helps spread the word of the issue so more people know about it and eventually that may make a difference.

  • 18rche

    The hashtag “bring back our girls” is not really helping because it’s not physically doing something that will bring back the girls. It’s good that people are using the hashtag though, because it raises awareness around the community. People need to actually take action to try to bring back our girls, and I don’t feel like social media is the way.

  • 18cloc

    I think that the hash tag can be a affective way to get people informed, but I do not think it is a affective way to help the girls actually come home. I think in order to get the girls to come home i think we need to take more action besides putting a hash tag up about supporting to find the girls. If you want to help find the girls actually take a step to help them instead of sitting down and putting a hash tag up about it.

  • 18wlam

    It is more of bringing awareness to people about what is going on in Nigeria, but it doesn’t exactly mean that someone is going to take action for helping these school girls.

  • Pinya Colada

    I think the #BringBackOurGirls is helping because it’s raising awareness of the problem. Even though it’s not physically helping anybody, people are seeing this hashtag. People can be inspired by this hashtag and want to learn more about the kidnapping of the girls.

  • Bailee

    I think that the hash tag is an effective way to help spread awareness of the issue, but I also think that social media will not resolve the problem. This is an issue that can not be fixed with a simple hash tag. People need to take action and help out Nigeria by physically volunteering to search for the lost girls. Twitter or any other kind of social media will do no good unless the receiver of the message gets inspired by the comment and assists in finding the girls. An opportunity that social media gives to social justice issues is that it gives insight to what is happening in the world, but if you want to help the world, lend a hand, spread the word, and support the cause because social media is just the first step in helping any social justice problem that occurs in today’s world.

  • Jessica

    I don’t think that #BringBackOurGirls is helping because we really aren’t doing anything physically. But I do believe that it has an effect. Although it isn’t helping it is getting more people to think about it. Possibly if we get enough people to be aware and are trying to help, then something might get done.

  • Anita E

    I honestly don’t think the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls will help very much. It may help get the word out, but it won’t change anything in Nigeria. It’s oversimplifying the issue because you can’t just say “hey, give us back the girls” and expect them to just simply return the girls like it’s no problem at all. They need to be found, and brought back. It’s almost like Child’s play- When you were little and another kid took one of your toys, did they simply give it back when you asked them to? Or did you have to take action and get it back?

  • Mason W

    I think

  • Elise

    in my opinion the hashtag is just a way for the world to get involved, although the trend can’t really bring the girls back, it can spread awareness.

  • Corinne C

    Although it probably is ineffective, over simplifying or whatever else you want to call it, it gives the girls a voice. If it weren’t for this hashtag, it would be much less known. The amount of people that found out about this through the twitter hashtag is making a difference in that it gives the girls a voice that they don’t have. It gives people a stronger sense of reality and not taking things for granted. #BringBackOurGirls might not make a difference, but the people who see it will.

  • Thai Smith

    I don’t think the hash tags are working because if it was working there would probably have been some type of response Obviously even with the hash tags Boko Haram aren’t going to be stupid enough to let the girls go for fear of them ratting out their location

  • Mason W

    I think that by using #bringbackourgirls is helping by making it aware for everyone so they know about the problem but, sending troops to Nigeria I don’t think that is helping because the Nigerian army will just use the equipment against there own people like they’ve been doing

  • Brendan G

    The hashtag is raising awareness, but its not doing a whole lot to help. This could be because if the US military performs more action in Africa, this sends off the message of “Don’t worry, we got this.” and the African governments won’t have to nearly as much. If a government isn’t doing much for a big problem in its country, it’s not a very good government because it’s not solving its own problem. The government has to rely on someone else to do it, in this case the US. This could stunt the countries development and make its government unreliable and untrustworthy.

  • Michelle S.

    This is a hard issue to sort through. We want so badly to do something about the horrible treatment of females, but the miles between us make it impossible for us to physically go and help look for these girls, not to mention the extreme danger posed by this extremist group. That doesn’t mean I ache for these families who have a missing child. This is also a crucial social issue for our students to think about. They are our next generation of world leaders, and we need them to be aware of what’s happening outside our own neighborhood and country. Therefore, the hashtag is making a difference in our own awareness. It’s making us discuss, get uncomfortable, discuss the issues, talk around our dinner tables, ask where we can give money to support aid workers in the region, etc. I can’t know the motivation of our American military in this situation, but I do know that Americans care about human rights, both here in our country and around the world. Our leaders DO take their cues for the people if we speak up with an informed voice!

  • Cameron K

    After reading both articles and listening to what both have to say I think that #bringbackourgirls is making an effect on showing how many people care about the situation but yet we aren’t doing anything about it to get the girls back physically.

  • Abby

    I think that the hash tag BringBackOurGirls is bringing
    attention to the issue, but it is not going to physically bring them back. However,
    bringing attention to the issue will help spread the word about it and get more
    people to spread/share it. It may not resolve the issue, but it will possibly get them
    help to solve the problem.

  • Brendon G

    I think the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls will help a lot because it calls attention and helps it spread faster so everyone knows about it. But I also don’t think it helps because they are only spreading it around but nobody seems to be doing anything about it. I think for this to help people need to physically take action. But I do think that this hashtag might influence people to take action later.

  • Brittany

    I think that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls helps the world see a problem and spread awareness about an issue, but I do not think that the hashtag will actually resolve the kidnappings in Nigeria. The hashtag has made a big impact in the world, and has gotten a lot of people involved, but the military actually needs to go do something. They can’t just watch millions of people hashtag and tweet about what happened and sit there and watch. Again, some Nigerians say America should stop tweeting because we aren’t helping the problem, but everyone is just trying to pitch in and help spread the word so the Nigerian military or some other troops can help. They need to take action no matter how many times a hashtag is tweeted..

  • Caroline P.

    I don’t think the hashtag is doing anything to help these poor girls in Nigeria. Now I think its great that we are spreading the word but that will only do so much. We need to put our heads together and find a solution to truly find these girls! I feel like in this day in age we think we can fix anything with social media. The truth is though nothing is going to happen until we truly take action. Time is ticking, so lets put our phones down and think of a way to find these girls!

  • Duncan

    I like the idea of #BringBackOurGirls, but it’s not really helping that much. Yes, it’s raising awareness about what terrible things Boko Haram is doing to these girls because of their desire to get an education. But the fact that all we’re doing is raising awareness, and not actually doing anything else makes the hashtag almost useless. If we want to do anything, we need to send troops, and that may be the only option, since the Nigerian Government isn’t doing anything to get these girls back. So I’m going to repeat: the hashtag is a good idea, but pretty much useless against Boko Haram.

  • Aaliyah B

    The hashtag #bringbackourgirls is not that effective in my opinion. I will acknowledge that it did bring some attention, but it’s not like the terrorists in Boko Haram and going to let these girls go just because people hashtag. It’s nice that people care so much but in all reality it causes stresses on the Nigerian government. And the “purity” of the U.S military is misleading. They want to take over as many territories as they can for their order. They go in and say “our way is better because we are more developed” and take over. The people of Nigeria need to figure this out on their own without the pressure of a country that has no connection to them. And they absolutely can if we didn’t jump in. The people of Nigeria are already protesting for Goodluck Johnathan to do something and it will get there. The hashtags aren’t going to #bringbackourgirls, but Nigeria can.

  • Brooke K

    I don’t think the hash tag is affective. These Nigerian families just want to have their girls home and safe. Social media cant resolve everything. The has tag does bring awareness, but is it bringing awareness to the right people? Posting a hash tag on social media isn’t really doing anything, its not going to bring the girls back home. The Nigerian government should be more concerned with the issue. That’s the only area this hash tag could be affective, if it changes the mind of Nigerian officials. Everyone feels for the girls and their families and want to help, but cant because more than half the people posting the hash tag on social medias are going to go help look for these girls. Therefore the hash tag is ineffective. But instead of debating if the hash tag is working why don’t we find an alternative way that possibly could make a difference and actually help find the girls.

  • Lauren R.

    I believe that the hashtags are very important to this case because they allow the world to unite about a topic that is extremely relevant in a new, easy way, but they aren’t exactly helping. Of course, it’s important to allow these girls to have some recognition and a voice in the matter, but the added pressure may cause further problems with the American and Nigerian governments. Also, we know that the Nigerian governments aren’t doing anything, anyway, so would this hashtag really make a difference? However, awareness is a key thing for these situations, and if it weren’t for these hashtags, then many of us would be ignorant toward the situation. These hashtags may not be making a significant change, but least America is making the effort to think of a way to stop Boko Haram, and the fact that we’re at least putting an effort towards stopping the situation is one step closer to changing at least something.

  • lizzie

    I don’t think the hashtag is affective into actually bringing the girls back. What is awareness without action. Yes this is heartbreaking and my prayers go out to these girls and their families, but tweeting and trying to gain awareness will not change the mindset of the Nigerian government. Us, as Americans, have no say in the Nigerian government therefore what we say will not persuade them to take action because we are not their people. They have their plans to help bring back these girls and if they want help from Americans they will seek out our help, but for now their isn’t much we can do.

  • pj makia

    i think that the people in american help the people in africa saves these girls

  • Elise

    By creating this hashtag people are involving themselves and giving their input on the situation, this can both help and cloud up the real message of what is happening in Nigeria. Ultimately, the social media input is just a simple way for the world to know what the situation of the girls in Nigeria is.

  • pj makia

    i think that the people in american help the people in africa saves these girls!!!

  • Edward M.

    I want to lean more over to the ineffectiveness of the hash-tag. It’s not like the hash-tag is going to bring girls back and find the terrorists. But, it’s good for people to know what’s going on in the situation, in order to help anyway they can.

  • Jackson Spence

    I dont think we should get involved. We are already involved in way too many foreign affairs as it is and this would just add to it.

  • pj makia

    I think that the people in american help the people in Africa saves these girls because the people in Africa need the Americans help in this problem because maybe they don’t have the man power or military to solve the problem and face it head on.

  • Jackson Spence

    I think that the US government should just stay out of it. We are already involved in too many foreign affairs. I don’t think the hashtag is doing anything to help, because it has not caused anyone to act on it. Social media for the most part is all talk, no action. I dont think that social media does anything more than letting people know that this is happening.

  • Kameryn

    Social media is not effective, because it’s not really doing anything to actually bring them back. I like the idea about the hashtag because it’s bringing awareness, but we don’t have control over whether they come back with social media.

    • Darlyn

      Agreed.

  • Rachel F

    While the hashtag won’t physically bring the girls out of captivity, it does give them a voice and helps spread awareness around the world. With more people aware about the Nigerian kidnapping, more pressure is put on their government to save the girls. If the Nigerian government won’t step up and save them, I definitely think America should.

    • Connor G

      I don’t think that the hash tags will put more pressure on them. The government hardly cares about people that comment or tweet.

      • Rachel F

        With more people aware, riots and protests can get together which would pressure the government to take action

    • Haley

      I agree with this, but I don’t think the government cares about what people tweet because they are so caught up in their busy lives, but I do agree with that it gives them a voice and helps spread awareness around the world.

  • http://www.catladies101.com Marissa

    I think that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is bringing attention to what is happening and is spreading the word, but at the same time just going on a social networking site and putting that hash tag on your tweet or post is not going to bring them back. I believe that the Nigerian government needs to work harder to do something about this.

    • Allison

      nice profile picture cat lady

  • Elena T

    Although the hashtag #bringbackourgirls may not be seem to be helping right this moment, it is helping raise awareness for the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls. Tweeting a hashtag may not physically bring the school girls back to Nigeria, but Twitter and other social media can be used as opportunities in hope that the 300+ girls may return safely home by raising the awareness of the kidnapping throughout our country.

  • Allison

    The hashtag is definitely bringing awareness to everyone around the world, which is what the purpose of it was, so I do believe that it is effective. Although it wont bring the girls back, it does help. It will bring more attention and pressure on the government to try and help get them home.

  • Sheridan

    While the hashtag is effective in spreading the news and bringing forth awareness to other countries and nations about this issue, it doesn’t do anything to assist in actually bringing the girls back. We are separated by thousands of miles so physically, we cannot go and do something to help bring the girls back. However, the hashtag allows us to unite as citizens and to be aware of an issue such as this one.

  • Darlyn

    I don’t think that hastags will bring back the kidnapped girls. But I definitely think that it is helping putting the word out, to get people thinking about these girls. But retweeting a hashtag will not physically bring back those girls. Awareness is good, yes, but what is needed in this situation is action.

  • Keaton

    I think that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is spreading awareness to the situation in Nigeria but it isn’t making a solution. The government in Nigeria needs to accept our help to find these girls because they aren’t doing it by themselves. I think that social media lets people know about issues around the globe, but they don’t solve any of the problems. People need to take a stand against the

  • Keaton

    Islamist Nigerian terrorist group and find those girls

  • Kenna Kumnick

    I think this hashtag is pointless. If we are all just sitting around tweeting about it, who is going to be out there changing things? The US constantly tries to butt into other peoples problems, when we should try to be fixing our own instead. Social media only allows for people to share their thoughts, but no one ever does anything.

    • Darlyn

      Complete truth.

    • Connor G

      same

  • Emily

    I think that the hashtag is definitely helping people become more aware of the situation, but i feel like it is ineffective when it comes to actually finding the girls. Social media is a great way to broadcast information, but at the same time everyone may have a different opinion. I’m not saying that having an opinion it is a bad thing, but usually stuff like this can cause big arguments and debates that can get out of hand.

  • Zayn

    I think that using the hashtag #bringbackourgirls is not effective. Although a hashtag can spread awareness, it cannot find the girls, only actions of people can. So the hashtag is useless if no one actually goes to look for the lost girls. Also, it lets the leader of the kindnapping aware that he is being searched for, and has reason to fear being in the open and so he will hide, or escape the country. Also I think the hashtag should press more on the Nigerian government than the US government. If the Nigerian government wont help find the girls it will make it much harder to find them, as the Nigerian military probably knows the terrain better than people of other countries, and so can more easily find them. In short, I think that the hashtag is good for awareness, but does not solve the problem,

  • Connor G

    I do not think that using social media and hash tags will cause a significant impact on this situation. In the end, it is all up to a government official to decide what happens. Although these tweets and posts might sway them a bit more, it is all up to the United States to decide what they want to do. What we don’t realize is that things like kidnappings and child slavery happen everyday. It may happen in some part of a third world country that isn’t vastly traveled, but do we do anything to stop those? If the U.S intervened with every problem in Africa or even the world, it would not be the country it is today. We need to be careful on what conflicts we take on and we need to be prepared. The U.S. can help, but it is the leaders of the country and their will to be a part of it that makes a difference. You can use all the hash tags and tweets you want, but in the end all us civilians can do is hope that something good happens.

    • Julia J.

      I totally agree with the human slavery happening all around the world comment.

  • Haley

    I don’t think the hashtag is affective in a way where it can stop what is happening in Nigeria, but I do think it is affective in a way that everyone will know what is happening or what has happened. I don’t think the U.S. government should get involved right away. If the Nigerian government won’t do anything about the Nigerian kidnapping, then, I think that is a sign for the U.S. government to step in and safe those girls themselves. I think social media is affective, in a way, that people find out things that they didn’t know before and talk about it with others, but then again I also think it isn’t that affective to where it can/could stop something this big/important.

  • Cosmo

    I think that the hashtag is spreading awareness on what is going on around the world and that maybe that will make other countries help Nigeria bring the girls back home.

  • Keaton

    I think that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is spreading awareness to the situation in Nigeria but it isn’t making a solution. The government in Nigeria needs to accept our help to find these girls because they aren’t doing it by themselves. I think that social media lets people know about issues around the globe, but they don’t solve any of the problems. People need to take a stand against the Islamist Nigerian terrorist group and find those girls.

  • Olivia

    I don’t believe that the hashtag will bring back the girls, but i also don’t think that was the point of it either. I think that people use the hashtag because they want to let the world know what was happening. I think that the US government should help, but not take over the whole operation or just do what we want. Social media will, for the most part, help the world become aware, but not physically do anything to help.

  • Ariana

    The only effective thing out of the hash tag is it is showing the world what is happening to the Nigerian girls, but that will not help what is going on in the Nigeria. The hash tag might help, but it wont resolve what is going on, nor will it bring the girls back. In my opinion the hash tag is adding pressure and may cause further problems with the American and Nigerian governments. Yes it is raising awareness, but actions speak louder then words.

  • Sebas

    I think that social media brought the subject to light so the whole world can see it. It might not actually bring them back but now the Nigerian government is forced to do something and many influential people are speaking about it.

  • Harlee

    The hashtag #bringbackourgirls is certainly raising awareness in many countries and already millions of people know about this horrible event, but they’re just doing just that, raising awareness, many people type this into twitter or any other social network site to make it seem like they care, and maybe they do, but others just go right back to their lives and probably only think about it when the topic is mentioned. And for the U.S to come in and help might have some advantages but it has even more negative reactions. The people who will really want to make a difference will go out and search. The advantages will be that many people will know and many may go out and help. but the disadvantages are many people are taking a “notice” but aren’t doing anything to help

  • Kylie E.

    I think the hashtag is just a way to spread the word and get the story out there. The more people that are aware of what is happening, the more people can be found that are willing to help and make progress. I dont think the hashtag is actually a good way to find the girls though and I get where both sides are coming from. I do believe that it is good to make the world know about what has happened, but the next step must be taken further. I dont believe the hashtag is causing harm. The girls need to be found.

  • Sarah M.

    I believe the hashtag is doing a great job with spreading awareness
    all of over the world and that’s the great thing about social media today, but I
    also feel the hashtag is ineffective. We
    can get the word around about the problem, but if action isn’t taken to find
    the girls the reason for the hashtag is pointless. I also feel the US government
    shouldn’t get involved unless the Nigerian people want our help.

    • Neil

      I agree

  • Yonas

    I feel that the hashtag isn’t very effective but it gives the others awareness. The government shouldn’t need to get involved however the Nigerian government should focus much more on the kidnapped girls because it’s not entirely the U.S. governments issue to deal with. The hashtag makes everyone learn more about the issue but chances are that everyone who uses the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls aren’t going to really do anything to help the kidnapped girls.

  • ashley

    Honestly, I don’t think us as individuals or even us as a whole nation can bring back the girls. the hash tag does nothing but show our support. and that’s not going to bring them back .what’s going,to bring them back is way more complicated than a bunch of Americans tweeting. now the other things we are doing like the droids I think is necessary. the only reason think military assistance is because they were not aware of it until 2 weeks later.

  • Petro

    I think that it is a good thing that the word of the missing girls is spreading worldwide because of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Another positive thing coming out of the hashtag is that it is putting pressure on the global governments to provide help or do something for Nigeria. It’s uniting the people from many countries, which will provide for a stronger pressure on the political institutions on the world. Even with all the growing support from many countries, I think the U.S should stay out of the Nigerian affairs. I think the U.S government is just trying to expand their military presence in Nigeria.

    • Charles

      I agree

  • Julia J.

    I get how bad this is and sad that these women have been taken, but I think that a hashtag isn’t going to help anything. This reminds me of Kony 2012, people get really excited and pumped up to stop these bad guys, when in reality, it will all be a past social media trend. Plus, I think it’s great that America tries helping, but do we really have to step in on every.liitle.thing? We have our own issues, as a country, to solve, and many other things to do, not just send out hashtags and give celebrities signs to make them selves look like they’re “helping”. Millions of girls get kidnapped and stolen every year to be sold as slaves ALL around the world, so why aren’t we paying attention to them? Why are the Nigerian Girls the top priority? Why is human trafficking a problem to America All the sudden?

  • Reyhan

    I think that it is a good thing that the word of the missing girls is spreading across the world because of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. This is a positive thing because it is bring our attention to the catastrophic event that these Nigerian girls are experiencing, and that we should help. The only way this hashtag will be ineffective will be if nobody does anything to save them. The opportunities of social networking for this is that the word of this is spreading and more and more people are knowing about it, making it an important discussion that we should be apart of.

  • Jordan W

    In my opinion, the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is more effective than most think. The more people that find out about the kidnapping of 200 girls, the more possible help there is available to Nigeria. So far, it has been all talk and no action. The hashtag is spreading the story, but no real action is being taken. Social Media can only do as much as alert everyone on what has happened in Nigeria, now its up to the people to do something about it. The hashtag isn’t the harm, its the people who are aware of the story, and continue to do nothing about it.

  • Neil

    Although the hashtag #bringbackourgirls may not be seem to be helping right this moment, it is helping raise awareness for the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls. Tweeting a hashtag may not physically bring the school girls back to Nigeria, but Twitter and other social media can be used as opportunities in hope that the 300+ girls may return safely home by raising the awareness of the kidnapping throughout our country. I’m not saying that the military will go out and save them just because of the hashtag, I’m saying that it might help them realize how much people care for the safety of them.

  • Ashtin

    I can understand the thoughts and opinions of both sides of this argument, but the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls has gained the attention of national news and spread worldwide. Many people are willing to do a lot of different rallies and protests about this subject, which may pressure the Nigerian government to take some sort of action or to make it known that those responsible for the kidnapping of the girls will pay the price for what they have done. On the other hand, this massive amount of attention has given the U.S. military the “okay” to stampede into Nigeria or plan something to try and rescue the girls. This, in turn, may further hurt the girls or cause the situation to worsen. It is a huge problem that needs to be handled delicately and appropriately.

    • Rachel M.

      i totally agree!

  • Clare

    I think that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls has a positive meaning to get the word across to everyone, but i think its unreliable to leave things up to social media to take care of it. The hashtag is a good thing though, because it shows how many people care about finding the girls. Even though the hashtag is a good thing, I don’t think it will bring back the girls. I see how horrible that it is that 200 Nigerian girls are missing, but I don’t think a hashtag on twitter is going to have much of an effect on the search for the girls. Yes, the hashtag is a good idea but , in my opinion,it is ineffective. The popularity of the hashtag reminds me of Kony 2012 , and how millions of people were spreading the news of what Kony was doing to the kids, and nothing ended up happening in that situation.

  • Charles

    In my opinion the hashtag is not the way to get the girls back, but it gives people hope. It’s the governments job to help the girls, because we can’t really do anything besides give people hope. Also I don’t think it should be an issue for Americans to worry about, or the government because there are issues in America too. But it is good because it encourages all the people searching for the girls and the hashtag shows that the rest of the world cares about the girls.

  • Sydney

    I think that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls isn’t doing anything extremely effective in the situation. I sort of agree with both sides, this is just America trying to take control of something that isn’t our business, but people want to see a change and people want to see these girls get rescued. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, with social media now days anything can spread and everyone knows all the news stories from around the world. When people hear that something bad has happened, even if it isn’t in their country, they want to do something. Not everyone has the power to change something on their own, but everyone does have their own voice in the matter. Everyone wants to see a change in this world and they want to do something. A couple tweets may not have the power to get these girls back, but it’s people coming together to try to raise awareness and it is the best that we can do. And from reading this article, its more than the Nigerian government is doing to try to save these girls. Weather this has been made a bigger deal than it is, or if the girls were kidnapped at all, or sold into slavery, we have people fighting for the good in our world, and with social media we can actually raise awareness and do a lot more now than we could have 30 years ago. I don’t think that we should be saying something isn’t going to work because it could and least people from all over the world care about whats happening. In the end one voice from someone may not be enough to bring back these girls, but millions shouting together might be loud enough to bring them back. It is very important to be a part of the world these days, and if we are all doing what we can, we can change it. And just maybe we can #BringBackOurGirls

    • Breanne L.

      I agree with you I believe how the hashtag helps but on the same time it doesn’t.

  • Lisa

    I think the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is actually helping spread the word about these missing girls, but it doesn’t help bring them back. It pressures the government to start doing something about this. Some people see the tweet and are willing to help, but other people just notice it and don’t do anything.

  • Hannah

    I think that the hash tag has been getting things out there but I don’t think that is actually going to help them find them. The people who are doing this could be seeing what is going on and probably would try to hide even better. The hash tag is only really making people more aware of what is going on around the world nothing else.

    • Kira

      This is true, but this hashtag may be scaring them too because now they know people are looking for these girls and they won’t stop until they are all accounted for.

  • Rachel M.

    I think the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is a good thing because it can spread the word all over the world about the girls and maybe other nations can hear about them, and maybe take action. The hashtag is making people aware about the girls and even the celebrities about hem and want to help. But I also think the United States should give Nigeria a little space to try and attempt to rescue the missing girls, and I really do think that the hashtag is a good thing to try and spread the word and get people active it such as the celebrities and political leaders. All the hashtag does is getting people aware of the situation and trying to help.

    • Ashtin

      I definitely agree that the hashtag has gotten the attention of many more well known names, but I also think you have a valid point that it will have no effect in getting the girls back.

  • Halee F

    I do think the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is making a difference in the kidnapping case of more than 300 Nigerian school girls. I believe it will put pressure on the Nigerian government to do something about the issue, since the country’s government and military are being criticized for failing to stop the kidnapping. The hashtag is raising awareness and educating people all around the world of the crisis, therefore it is effective, and it is making a difference. How can we expect to fix the problem without being aware and educated of the issue?

  • Kira

    I believe that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is helping spread worldwide awareness of what is really going on in other countries. This hashtag has also given these girls a better chance of being found, and it’s given the families of these innocent children hope. Just think, how many people would’ve really been talking about these girls if #BringBackOurGirls was never introduced? This hashtag has become the voice for these girls in their time of need; would they want you to sit around, not even knowing who they ever were? If you had been kidnapped and forced to be a slave would you want to be able to have hope, or would you want to know all hope is lost? #BringBackOurGirls gives them the chance of survival that they deserve; isn’t that all anyone can hope for… A chance? If this hashtag is out there, people will be on alert all around the world, and maybe next time three hundred helpless children won’t be stolen right from under our noses.

    • Sydney

      This is true and its a really good point, i agree

  • Michael

    In the end: social media does not solve kidnappings, wars,
    etc. it only sparks outrage. Outrage will not help with bringing back 200+
    girls that may have been sold, slaved, or even killed back to their mothers and
    fathers across Nigeria. Outrage only forces everyone to point fingers at
    governments across the world for not helping. We blame too much and solve too
    little. If you really believe that social media will help in any case, you
    might as well believe in monsters. Both are foolish and outrageous ideals. If
    you really want to help; provide empathy for the families and the girls, but do
    not go to twitter and use the hashtags.

    TL;DR- Social media doesn’t solve in this case, and never
    will.

  • Taylor S.

    I believe that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is doing nothing but spreading awareness to all around the world. Although it’s a good idea I believe that it’s ineffective, if I were to find a way to find the girls I would get a political figure to address the problem rather than tweet about it. I believe that tweeting about this problem may even make things worse. The advantages to tweeting is very little and the disadvantages out weigh the good. Overall, I believe that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is doing nothing and is rather ineffective.

  • Breanne L.

    I think the hashtag does a good job of spreading worldwide, but it doesn’t help fix the problem. The hashtag only shows support and that wont bring them back. The government has the choice of what they are going to do. The U.S. government wants to help but they have to do what is safe for our country. It’s not our battle to fight we have a choice to start something.

  • Bret Kelley

    Everything and anything gets a hashtag these days. As a somewhat active Twitter Facebook and Instagram user, I have learned that hashtags are nothing but a type of summary for a post. Michelle Obama posted that photo only to show that she “cares” and “is concerned” about such an event that really isn’t even our business. And even if it was, a social media trend is going to do jack about the whole thing. You might as well just be casually telling somebody about the event. And its not like either of you legitimately care about it anyway. You just get involved not only because it is a dumb trend, but you also do it to improve your own reputation by pretending to care about and support a “tragic” event. But in reality, you have done nothing to actually save these girls. And you don’t even care because these kidnappings don’t affect you aside from hearing about it on forms of media. People do things like this and Kony 2012 only for themselves, to make themselves look good. And its not like this is the only kidnapping of little girls to ever happen. People are still going to be kidnapped, raped, shot, starved, beaten, commit suicide, and be neglected in general despite all the movements, social media or not, to stop them. No matter what you do, you can’t completely stop these things from ever happening again. You only think you are.

    • Michael

      I agree, this is a very correct post!

  • Bryn

    Although the hashtag isn’t truly doing much to solve the problem, I believe it is doing a very important thing: spreading awareness of the situation to the world. How are we supposed to get results to a problem that isn’t known about? I do believe both sides have important points, but neither of them look at the fact that this hashtag has united millions of people, and that is still an important thing. There are two ways to look at a situation like this: positively and negatively. What people need to acknowledge is that at least people are doing what they can, which is better than nothing at all.

  • Jon

    Jon H.

  • Bradon

    I think this “#BringBackOurGirls” doesn’t work at all it’s pathetic. It has gotten everybody’s attention, but i don’t see anyone doing a thing about it.

  • isaiah

    I think that the hash tag #BringBackOurGirls is not very useful to the kidnapped girls. It may spread word about them will not bring them back to their homes. Also I think that trying to save the girls will bring blood shed and I do not think that trying to save the girls is worth the bloodshed.

  • Jacob W.

    I feel that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is not helping because, the people that took them are not going to care what other think about them, and what they have done. Also the U.S.A need to stay out of it and let the Nigerian government take care of its own problems. I do not pay my taxes for other country’s problems. The whole idea of social media is for us to be informed and is not a good way for us to deal with justice issues and most likely not going to help. To me it looks like the hashtag has not helped at all in getting the girls back.

  • Kaitlyn M

    I think the #BringBackOurGirls can go both ways. Its a good idea because it gets the word out that these girls from Nigeria are missing. Soon It wont just be on the internet, It will be on TV the news and all over the world. But the bad thing is the people that kidnapped all of these school girls would probably not care that Its on the internet because no one is taking a stand and looking for the girls in America. So Its not doing anything but getting the world out that there missing.

  • Karim

    I don’t think that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is useless cause the leader of the Pentagon said his self. ” We are very limited what we can do” in simplistic say they are not going to do nothing. Social media ain’t going to change the situation ether cause the goverment isn’t going to do anything to solve it. So why would this be trending if its no going to be solved

  • Molly C.

    I think the #bringourgirlsback is effective and it is making an impact in a positive way because so many people have already become aware of the issue thanks to this hashtag. Social media is seen by so many people so its a great way to spread the word. I don’t think America is hurting anything, I think they are just tying to help.

    • Jacob W.

      #BringBackOurGirls FYI

  • Brandon C

    I definitely agree that the hash tag has gotten the attention of many more well known names,and I think it is effective

  • Kayla J

    I don’t think that #BringBackOurGirls is helping bring them back. All it does is spread the news around. It does not help actually bring the girls back home. Most people who know about this problem may tweet or respond about it, but will not actually try and help with this problem.

  • Michael E

    I think its not going to help. what is a # to a terrorist.

    • Kayla J

      Amazing point!!

    • Jacob W.

      I can not agree any more than that

  • cody

    I think it is good to spread the word about the missing girls, but I don’t think that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls is effective.

  • Kaitlyn P

    I think the #bringbackourgirls is effective because internet is everywhere and i don’t think we are hurting anybody and we aren’t sending miliary anywhere over in nigeria it’s just an action we, America, would help!

    • Bradon

      internet is not every where especially where the kidnapped girls are.

    • Dustin Remiker

      I think that America should stay out of the situation because it does not concern us and we need all the money we have to help people that are in poverty in our own country.

  • Jon

    I think the government should stop taking and get actually doing something.

  • Carla R.

    I believe the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls won’t help with kidnapping at all, but it’ll help spread awarenesss. Everything in social media these days has a hashtag, and a hashtag isn’t anything more than, well, just a hashtag. Unless someone takes action, a hashtag isn’t gonna help at all. It bothers me that people think that just by using a hashtag about the situation it’ll make them seem like they care when, in fact, they aren’t doing anything to help the situation at all. I think it’s best to keep hashtags about certain situations, such as this one, off social media.

  • Quinn kaiser

    I think that we should stop acting as if we can help. just because #BringBackOurGirls got 50,000 retweets doesn’t mean that it’s making a difference in Nigeria. yes the pen is greater than the sword but that’s just an old saying and that doesn’t mean Boka Haram is going to listen to anyone but themselves.

  • Jon

    Action speaks louder than words.

  • Cody

    I think that #BringBackOurGirls is an effective way to create awareness about this tragic event for people all around the world.

    • Dustin Remiker

      I agree it does tell people about what is happening around the world but it does not help get the 250 girls back or insure that other girls in Nigeria are safe from kidnappings like this.

  • Dustin Remiker

    I feel that this is a problem that needs to be dealt with but America should not go and help because the situation does not include any of our citizens so we should just let the Nigeria government get the girls back on there own.