Conservative columnist George Will blasted the explosion in “hashtag activism” on Twitter since the recent kidnapping of hundreds of Nigeria schoolgirls by an Islamic terror group, calling the trending #BringBackOurGirls nothing but “an exercise in self-esteem.”
Will appeared on a Fox News Sunday panel along with Fox contributor Brit Hume, AP reporter Julie Pace and Fox contributor Juan Williams. Host Chris Wallace asked Will whether the “Bring Back Our Girls” hashtag, which has been tweeted out over two million times — including by First Lady Michelle Obama — is effective.
“Do you think that this is significant and helpful and can make progress?” he asked. “Or do you think it’s really about helping the people that tweet the hashtag feel better about themselves?”
“Exactly that,” Will responded unreservedly. “It’s an exercise in self-esteem. I don’t 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.’”
“Power is the ability to achieve intended effects,” he explained. “And this is not intended to have any effect on the real world. It’s a little bit like environmentalism has become. The incandescent lightbulb becomes the enemy. It has NO effect whatever on the planet, but it makes people feel good about themselves.”