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Posted: May 19, 2014 1:04 p.m.

What is #BringBackOurGirls ?

Ever since the radical militant group “Boko Haram” seized and kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls on April 15 in Nigeria and has continued to hold them hostage, there has been an enormous uproar of activity within the United States and across the globe.

That activity has come from worldwide support in the form of social media outreach through #BringBackOurGirls.
The movement is aimed at the rescuing or freeing of Boko Haram’s captives and is spreading across the world, especially in the United States. The participants of the movement hope that they will be set free and are working strenuously to make sure their goal is met.

One of the Bring Back Our Girls movement’s themes is discussion and awareness through a Twitter hashtag. The hashtag, or # followed directly by a subject, is a way to start a global discussion on Twitter to note what a user has to say, representing an individual’s vital voice that must be heard.

“Your hashtag is your voice,” said Monique Mitchell, an AP U.S. Government teacher at Eastside High School who began a school-wide #BringBackOurGirls project with two other teachers.

In this case, the hashtag for the hundreds of females that remain captive in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram would signal their empathizers’ desire to see the girls set free, as well as to live freely with no restraints and be able to say what they want without a higher authority.

People across the world have posted pictures on social media with the hashtag, which has been a frequent top-trending topic on Twitter, to help provoke assistance for the kidnapped victims. Some prominent names to evoke the hashtag have been Pope Francis, Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Alicia Keys and others.

Boko Haram is reported to be an anti-Western radical organization that strongly opposes Western influence in Nigeria and the surrounding African nations, and one of the group’s basic beliefs involves opposing the education of females. It is believed that Boko Haram plans to either hold their captives for ransom money or sell them into slavery. In efforts to enforce their ideas, Boko Haram continues to hold the girls hostage.

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