No More Hashtags. Start Acting.


If only the 275 Nigerian Christian girls were abducted by plane! 29 countries would be looking for the schoolgirls instead of the handful of countries talking about the Boko Haram abduction. Remember, the 29 countries organized as a global coalition to look for Malaysian Airliner in the bottom of the Indian Ocean? If only Boko Haram flew the hostages out of Chibok, perhaps the world would provide over 57 ships and 48 aircraft, defense assets, powerful new sophisticated technology to look for the innocent girls abducted from their boarding school.  No expense was spared to look for the 227 Malaysian Air passengers, as dozens of military ships and thousands of international military and defense personnel were deployed to search for Flight 370 passengers buried some 2 miles down in the vast ocean. So why haven’t 29 countries joined forces to look for the poor Nigerian girls?

Tragically, no such worldwide cooperation or massive effort is underway to look for 275 Nigerian Christian girls whose only mistake was going to school.

Instead, the world listens to lame and whiny complaints about the difficult terrain in the forests of Borno state ruled by Boko Haram. The U.S. provides pathetic excuses that the abuses of the Nigerian army prevent the U.S. from full engagement to actively look for the girls, although the abuses of the Chinese government and the Pakistani governments didn’t prevent the U.S. from joining forces in an international flotilla to look for the Malaysian plane within the vast Indian Ocean. The Nigerian and U.S. government provide plenty of reasons why this is a difficult case, i.e. the schoolgirls have probably been separated, and disbursed or sold into slavery. Or the girls are no longer kept together in a group of 275, or have been trafficked into other countries, so it is much more complicated to find them. So what? They talk and they hashtag while the girls are trafficked, exploited, beaten, raped, genitally mutilated, and forced into marriages.  Excuses abound and the girls are not found.

The hottest topic on the world stage is human trafficking. Everyone is talking and concerned about the scourge of modern slavery. Yet, when the world sees human trafficking in action by Boko Haram who reports that it will “sell the girls in the human market” the world sits idly by with diplomatic and military excuses. Millions embraced social media and hashtagged their outrage in 5 seconds worth of key strokes. All done, now. Everyone has done their part for humanity’s latest tragedy.

Wars won’t be won, nor terrorists defeated with social media.

The Islamic terrorists of Boko Haram have already killed 12,000 people and maimed and injured over 8,000 others. Boko Haram is surely laughing over the feckless global social media campaign.  These violent terrorists are raging war in Northern Nigeria, burning down churches, burning alive over 50 schoolboys and terrorizing everyone in their wake. In the last week, they killed over 300 civilians in a village in the State of Borno. Apparently, the hashtag revolution hasn’t intimidated or stopped Boko Haram from its killing spree.

Terrorists understand only one thing: strategic intimidating and overwhelming force.

Senator John McCain and Sen. Bob Corker recommended U.S. Special Forces to rescue the girls. Why hasn’t the U.N. deployed its UN Special Combat fighting team to rescue the girls as it did in 2013 to fight rebels in the Congo? What are they waiting for?

Sorry, folks, hashtags may make you feel better but they provide no comfort to the school girls who are waiting and hoping for someone to rescue them. The world waits like the frightened and apathetic appeaser, who talks, but never acts. The cautionary words of Winston Churchill are especially apt, “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

Remember that the next time that Boko Haram strikes. It will be worse. Don’t bother to hashtag.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Elizabeth Yore served as Special Counsel at Harpo, Inc. for the last 5 years. In that position, she acted  as Oprah Winfrey’s Child Advocate both with the Oprah Winfrey Show and in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Prior to that position, Liz was General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois statewide child welfare agency. At DCFS, Liz created the first missing child unit, which required the DCFS to immediately notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when a foster child went missing. Illinois has been the leader in that initiative. She also spearheaded a program to aggressively prosecute human trafficking cases in the department.  Prior to DCFS, Liz was General Counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia, and its first Director of the International Division handling international child abduction cases. She now blogs at, twitters@elizabethyore and consults internationally in child exploitation cases.

Leave A Reply