Everyone complaining about America's hashtag diplomacy — most recently Sarah Palin — seems to be confused by the "our" in the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag. Despite attempts by an American to take credit for the hashtag, it was created by Nigerians and for Nigerians, to help draw the government's attention. What Palin and other conservatives don't realize is that it's almost impossible to mock #BringBackOurGirls without mocking the mothers of those girls, or the fellow citizens who cared enough to advocate on their behalf.
Palin took to social media to criticize the Obama administration's social media tweets as "junior high-like tweets and tickles in place of a foreign policy rooted in peace through strength." She reminds us that victory is usually brought to you "'courtesy of the red, white and blue'" (the Nigerian flag is green and white) and that a hashtag isn't going to scare the people Palin wants us to scare. "I kinda-sorta doubt a tweet will intimidate the kidnappers much," she wrote. "So, if you’re going to jump in and do something about these Islamic terrorists at all, then do it right, do it firmly, and kick their ass."
In summary: Terrorist = Bad, Nigerians = Helpless, America = Ass Kicking. As The Wall Street Journal explained last week, the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag was created by Nigerian lawyer Ibrahim Musa Abdullahi who wanted to bring attention to the situation. As it turns out, English is the official language of Nigeria, and Nigerians use Twitter. Palin doesn't mention Abdullahi, and instead posted a picture of a man mocking Nigerians' efforts to bring back #their girls.