Photo: Cynthia Rucker/Demotix/Corbis

Photo: Cynthia Rucker/Demotix/Corbis

The folks over at Fox News once again showed how far out of the touch they are during a recent panel discussion about the #BringBackOurGirls social media push.

During Fox News Sunday, contributors poked fun at the effectiveness of using social media to rescue more than two hundred abducted Nigerian girls.

After host Chris Wallace asked whether the hashtag would lead to progress or if it would simply allow people to “feel better about themselves,” Conservative columnist George Will decided to criticize those sharing the #BringBackOurGirls tag.

“It’s an exercise in self-esteem,” Will said. “I do not know how adults stand there, facing a camera, and say, ‘Bring back our girls.’ Are these barbarians in the wilds of Nigeria supposed to check their Twitter accounts and say, ‘Uh oh, Michelle Obama is very cross with us, we better change our behavior’?”

Once again Will, and the rest of his Fox News cronies, completely missed the point.

Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, a Nigerian lawyer, created the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag after hearing Oby Ezekwesili, the nation’s former minister of education, demand as much at a protest rally. When the mainstream media failed to cover the story and the Nigerian government refused to act, Nigerians flooded social media to demand President Goodluck Jonathan do more to find the missing girls. Once Twitter users around the globe began sharing the tag and several countries offered President Jonathan assistance, he could no longer ignore the issue; he had to act.

While Fox News believes the hashtag is just an “exercise in self-esteem” that will not result in actually saving the girls, the only reason we—and the world—are talking about it in the first place is because Nigerians refused to let the issue die, and the rest of the world joined their fight.

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