Newswise — The “Bring Back Our Boys” online campaign on behalf of the teenagers who were kidnapped last Thursday night went viral almost immediately, attracting global interest and enlisting tens of thousands of people from all over the world in the fight to free the missing teens. The campaign was launched by graduates of the University of Haifa’s Ambassadors Online program, and hundreds of thousands of people, from the United States to Fiji, had seen the posts.
When fears rose on Friday regarding the fate of Naftali Frenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, who were last seen hitchhiking home on Thursday evening, the Ambassadors Online alumni forum decided that something had to be done via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to publicize the kidnapping and get the world to demand the teens’ return. A “Bring Back Our Boys” Facebook page was opened and surfers were asked to post a picture of themselves holding a sign bearing that message. In less than 48 hours, more than 50,000 people had “liked” the Facebook page.
“The campaign was based on another Internet initiative to return the kidnapped girls in Nigeria that was entitled ‘Bring Back Our Girls’”, explained Dr. David Gurevitz, who founded the Ambassadors Online program when he was still a doctoral student at the University. “The organizers of our initiative wanted to make it clear that terror cannot include kidnapping children – not in Nigeria and not in Israel. Surfers all over the world connected to that simple message.”
According to Gurevitz, one of the purposes of the campaign is to reach audiences abroad whose media does not report such events, which is why the students who joined the campaign put such an emphasis on the posts’ international distribution. He added that people from many countries have posted pictures, among them the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, England, Morocco, Fiji, Peru, Costa Rica, Russia, South Africa and more. Popular French radio broadcaster Benjamin Strobag also had himself photographed with a sign calling for the return of the kidnapped teens.
The campaign’s Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/BringBackOurBoysNow.