Africa

New urgency in Nigeria social media campaign

  • 6 May 2014
  • From the section Africa
A woman at a demonstration calling on the government to increase efforts to rescue the 276 missing kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, in Lagos

Twitter users around the world are not letting up in their demands for the release of the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants.

#BringBackOurGirls has been tweeted or retweeted more than a million times since 23 April, when it was first used.

Along with pop stars, prominent voices like those of Unicef, Amnesty International and Hillary Clinton have come on board, reflecting a growing internationalization of the campaign.

Unicef tweet
Hillary Clinton tweet

Of 550,000 posts with an identifiable location, a little under half were posted from Nigeria, followed by the US, the UK and South Africa, according to Crimson Hexagon data.

Abubakar Shekau 2013
Abubakar Shekau leads the Islamist group, which has killed thousands in northern Nigeria

A threat by Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau to sell the girls has given a new urgency to some of the tweets.

tweet

User @ogundamisi and @nigeriasbest express frustration and disillusion not only with Abubakar Shekau, but with the environment that allowed him to flourish in Nigeria.

tweet
tweet
Graph of BringBackOurGirls tweet counts
BringBackOurGirls tweets spike as protesters marched in Nigeria on 30 April and 1 May

User @UCHEUGO worries that the Boko Haram leader is giving the wrong impression about Islam.

Boko Haram's leader said Allah told him to kidnap and sell the missing girls. Really? This just an insult to Muslims & Islam.

Others hope the video message will prompt the authorities to take concrete steps.

tweet
tweet

But many users, like @ocupynigeria, have little faith in the army's abilities.

tweet
Map of world with main areas where #BringOurGirls has been used marked
Many #BringBackOurGirls tweets on 6 May were posted from the US and Europe

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

More on this story