What the #hashtag? UPDATED

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | May 9th, 2014

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What the #hashtag? UPDATED

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

OK, I admit it: I have used Twit­ter hash­tags on my posts on Venezuela as a means to both pro­mot­ing my blog posts and keep­ing track of Venezue­lan news, but now the “#hash­tag” thing has me puzzled.

Last month we had hash­tag diplo­macy: State Depart­ment spokes­woman Jen Psaki issued this,

To this day I do not know exactly what “the promise of hash­tag” means, rep­re­sents, or refers to, but I’m quite cer­tain that Vladimir Putin, for­mer head of the KGB, is not quak­ing in his boots. But, hey, Psaki stands for “the social media approach to for­eign pol­icy”, and she’s stick­ing to it …

… much to the amuse­ment of the Twitch­i­ers.

Fast-​forward to this week’s news of the hor­rific crimes com­mit­ted by Islamist ter­ror­ists Boko Haram in Nige­ria, which have kid­napped 250 girls. This is front-​page news, but Boko Haram has a hor­ri­fy­ing history.

Pete wrote about Boko Haram this morn­ing. If you read the Ayaan Hirsi Ali arti­cle he linked to, she points out,

The group was founded in 2002 by a young Islamist called Mohammed Yusuf, who started out preach­ing in a Mus­lim com­mu­nity in the Borno state of north­ern Nige­ria. He set up an edu­ca­tional com­plex, includ­ing a mosque and an Islamic school. For seven years, mostly poor fam­i­lies flocked to hear his mes­sage. But in 2009, the Niger­ian gov­ern­ment inves­ti­gated Boko Haram and ulti­mately arrested sev­eral mem­bers, includ­ing Yusuf him­self. The crack­down sparked vio­lence that left about 700 dead. Yusuf soon died in prison — the gov­ern­ment said he was killed while try­ing to escape — but the seeds had been planted. Under one of Yusuf’s lieu­tenants, Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram turned to jihad.

In 2011, Boko Haram launched its first ter­ror attack in Borno. Four peo­ple were killed, and from then on vio­lence became an inte­gral part, if not the cen­tral part, of its mis­sion. The recent kid­nap­pings — 11 more girls were abducted by Boko Haram on Sun­day — join a litany of out­rages, includ­ing mul­ti­ple car bomb­ings and the mur­der of 59 school­boys in Feb­ru­ary. On Mon­day, as if to demon­strate its grow­ing power, Boko Haram launched a 12-​hour attack in the city of Gam­boru Ngala, fir­ing into mar­ket crowds, set­ting houses aflame and shoot­ing down res­i­dents who ran from the burn­ing build­ings. Hun­dreds were killed.

So excuse me if I am per­plexed by the hash­tag #Bring­Back­Our­Girls. A bevy of celebri­ties are on it, includ­ing Michelle Obama,

and the always-​relevant and chic Bianca Jagger,

By the way, under Hillary Clin­ton, the State Depart­ment repeat­edly declined to fully go after Boko Haram. I don’t expect we’ll be see­ing a photo of Hillary hold­ing up a #Bring­Back­Our­Girls sign any time soon.(SEE BELOW FOR UPDATE 2)

To me, it all amounts to Oper­a­tion Pouty Face. Larry Cor­reia, who’s been a guest in Da Tech Guy on the Radio, doesn’t mince words,

One thing I’m fairly sure of about the kind of peo­ple who do that sort of thing for a liv­ing, is that they really don’t give a [exple­tive deleted] about a bunch of Amer­i­can movie stars tak­ing pouty self­ies of them­selves hold­ing up signs with hash tag give our girls back. The dis­ap­proval of fat, soft, Amer­i­cans on Face­book really doesn’t move them. They care about get­ting paid or get­ting killed, that’s about it. The self-​righteous pout­ing is useless.

Larry’s post must be read in full, and he dri­ves home the point that,

The real solu­tion? Nige­ria is one of dozens of screwed up coun­tries. If Nige­ria wants to be truly safe from slavers and mad­men, it is going to require the Nige­ri­ans defend them­selves from
[exple­tive deleted], and if the Niger­ian gov­ern­ment won’t do it, then the Niger­ian gov­ern­ment needs to be replaced by Nige­ri­ans who want some­thing bet­ter. For the thou­sands of other evil events that don’t trend on Twit­ter, replace Nige­ria with what­ever law­less [exple­tive deleted]hole coun­try is in ques­tion and you get the same answer. Peo­ple get free­dom when they demand it for themselves.

faustaHash­tag­ging to Putin, to Boko Haram, to the evil in this world? I mean, this is pathetic, the mes­sage this sends to peo­ple around the world.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz is old enough to remem­ber the Nixon era, and believes the term exple­tive deleted should be timely for the upcom­ing Beng­hazi hear­ings. She writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

Update DTG: Gotta add this quote from Iowahawk:

UPDATE 2 FRW:
I was 12 wrong: Hillary did use the #Bring­Back­Our­Girls hash­tag, but didn’t post her photo hold­ing up the sign,

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

OK, I admit it: I have used Twitter hashtags on my posts on Venezuela as a means to both promoting my blog posts and keeping track of Venezuelan news, but now the “#hashtag” thing has me puzzled.

Last month we had hashtag diplomacy: State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued this,

To this day I do not know exactly what “the promise of hashtag” means, represents, or refers to, but I’m quite certain that Vladimir Putin, former head of the KGB, is not quaking in his boots. But, hey, Psaki stands for “the social media approach to foreign policy”, and she’s sticking to it . . .

. . . much to the amusement of the Twitchiers.

Fast-forward to this week’s news of the horrific crimes committed by Islamist terrorists Boko Haram in Nigeria, which have kidnapped 250 girls. This is front-page news, but Boko Haram has a horrifying history.

Pete wrote about Boko Haram this morning. If you read the Ayaan Hirsi Ali article he linked to, she points out,

The group was founded in 2002 by a young Islamist called Mohammed Yusuf, who started out preaching in a Muslim community in the Borno state of northern Nigeria. He set up an educational complex, including a mosque and an Islamic school. For seven years, mostly poor families flocked to hear his message. But in 2009, the Nigerian government investigated Boko Haram and ultimately arrested several members, including Yusuf himself. The crackdown sparked violence that left about 700 dead. Yusuf soon died in prison—the government said he was killed while trying to escape—but the seeds had been planted. Under one of Yusuf’s lieutenants, Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram turned to jihad.

In 2011, Boko Haram launched its first terror attack in Borno. Four people were killed, and from then on violence became an integral part, if not the central part, of its mission. The recent kidnappings—11 more girls were abducted by Boko Haram on Sunday—join a litany of outrages, including multiple car bombings and the murder of 59 schoolboys in February. On Monday, as if to demonstrate its growing power, Boko Haram launched a 12-hour attack in the city of Gamboru Ngala, firing into market crowds, setting houses aflame and shooting down residents who ran from the burning buildings. Hundreds were killed.

So excuse me if I am perplexed by the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. A bevy of celebrities are on it, including Michelle Obama,

and the always-relevant and chic Bianca Jagger,

By the way, under Hillary Clinton, the State Department repeatedly declined to fully go after Boko Haram. I don’t expect we’ll be seeing a photo of Hillary holding up a #BringBackOurGirls sign any time soon.(SEE BELOW FOR UPDATE 2)

To me, it all amounts to Operation Pouty Face. Larry Correia, who’s been a guest in Da Tech Guy on the Radio, doesn’t mince words,

One thing I’m fairly sure of about the kind of people who do that sort of thing for a living, is that they really don’t give a [expletive deleted] about a bunch of American movie stars taking pouty selfies of themselves holding up signs with hash tag give our girls back. The disapproval of fat, soft, Americans on Facebook really doesn’t move them. They care about getting paid or getting killed, that’s about it. The self-righteous pouting is useless.

Larry’s post must be read in full, and he drives home the point that,

The real solution? Nigeria is one of dozens of screwed up countries. If Nigeria wants to be truly safe from slavers and madmen, it is going to require the Nigerians defend themselves from
[expletive deleted], and if the Nigerian government won’t do it, then the Nigerian government needs to be replaced by Nigerians who want something better. For the thousands of other evil events that don’t trend on Twitter, replace Nigeria with whatever lawless [expletive deleted]hole country is in question and you get the same answer. People get freedom when they demand it for themselves.

faustaHashtagging to Putin, to Boko Haram, to the evil in this world? I mean, this is pathetic, the message this sends to people around the world.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz is old enough to remember the Nixon era, and believes the term expletive deleted should be timely for the upcoming Benghazi hearings. She writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Update DTG: Gotta add this quote from Iowahawk:

UPDATE 2 FRW:
I was 1/2 wrong: Hillary did use the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, but didn’t post her photo holding up the sign,

DaTechGuy on DaRadio Saturday Noon EST. WBNW AM 1120 Concord WPLM 1390 Plymouth WESO 970 Southbridge, FTR Radio, the 405 Media

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