The Life of a Hashtag Meme: #BringBackOurGirls


The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag meme is everywhere – as I’m writing this article, there are over three million tweets and over 377,000 Instagram photos tagged with it (not including whatever’s happening on Facebook, Tumblr, etc.).

As such, #BringBackOurGirls makes for a great case study of a great, global, political hashtag meme. Here’s what we found out.


References and further reading

  • Zeynep Tufekci has the best “so what now” political analysis of the outcome of #BringBackOurGirls.
  • Tech President has the most comprehensive account of how all this went down.
  • NBC News has the full story on how the drama of the American woman was credited as the creator of the hashtag.
  • BBC Trending reminds us that #RealMenDontBuyGirls is from 2011.
  • Al Jazeera’s Stream has the scoop on how people in Spain remixed their politician’s selfie to mock her.
  • The New York Time’s Lens interviews the photographer from the heavily mis-used photograph.
  • Compare Afrique has the counter narrative to Good US Soldiers Saving Africa.
  • Global Voices caught this story early and it was there that I first saw it.
  • Politico Now has the quote from Mike Rogers on hashtags and selfies.