NEW YORK – After a two week run, it appears the Twitter campaign to #BringBackOurGirls, a reference to the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram, has run out of steam. The popular hashtag activism campaign has seen Hollywood celebrities, athletes, and even first lady Michelle Obama spreading the message on social media, but unfortunately it was unable to compete with more compelling stories, such as Johnny Manziel getting drafted by the Cleveland Browns and Solange Knowles attacking Jay-Z in an elevator.
Though the campaign failed to produce any meaningful results in locating the missing girls, it has helped inform the world of the plight of a nation that most Americans are unable to locate on a map, much like the similar #Kony2012 campaign.
“It’s like, really sad that they got kidnapped,” said Kaylee Jordan, a student at New York University. “I was like, so super sad when I heard about the story, but then I tweeted about it and felt like, really good, like I was actually helping or something. My heart totally goes out to all the people in Nicaragua.”
Boko Haram, which has been terrorizing Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger since 2001, has not responded to any tweets, emails, pokes, or Instagram personal messages, presumably due to their abhorrence to westernization. Still, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he believes, with a strong degree of certainty, that leaders of the radical group are well aware that the majority of the civilized world is “super pissed” with them, thanks to the extensive social media campaign.
“I Facebook messaged them a few days ago, but I haven’t gotten a response yet. I’m not sure there’s much else I can do, I’ve exhausted every other option,” said Hagel to a group of reporters.
The lack of results and the beginning of a new news cycle has left many Internet activists looking for a fresh cause to latch onto for a “week or so,” allowing them to clog up the Facebook and Twitter feeds of all their acquaintances, so that everyone knows how well informed and altruistic they are.
Still, despite the large scope of the campaign, recent studies show that nearly 80 percent of people who posted #bringbackourgirls are unaware if the girls were actually returned or not.
“It was a heartbreaking story, but I’m glad everyone got back safe,” tweeted Craig Busch, a barrista in Brooklyn. “Hopefully that Nigerian ferry captain gets arrested for negligence, or whatever.”