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Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls Sign is a photograph of the First Lady of the United States holding up a sign in support of the hashtag campaign for the safe return of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls who were abducted by a jihadist terrorist group in April 2014. Since its upload via Obama’s official Twitter account in May 2014, the photograph has been turned into a popular exploitable template for online parodies.
On May 7th, 2014, a few days after the launch of #BringBackOurGirls on Twitter, Michelle Obama shared a picture of herself looking rather concerned while holding up a sign with the hashtag written on it. In less than a week, the First Lady’s tweet brought in more than 57,000 retweets and 34,000 favorites.
On May 10th, 2014, Redditor pandaconda73 submitted a /r/photoshopbattle post featuring a photoshopped rendition of Michelle Obama’s sign which read “don’t hold up signs on the Internet, bad people will change what they say.” The thread soon snowballed into a series of photoshopped parodies, yielding a total of 51 submissions prior to its archival.
Ann Coulter’s Response
On the following day, American conservative author Ann Coulter tweeted a parody of Michelle Obama’s photograph with a sign which read #BringBackOurCountry. Coulter’s mocking photograph was met with over 2,000 retweets and nearly 2,000 favorites, though not without its fair share of critical responses and backlash from others on Twitter.
My hashtag contribution to world affairs … pic.twitter.com/Wkb8ozYZFC— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) May 12, 2014
Within hours of the tweet, more than a dozen photoshopped parodies poking fun at Coulter’s sign-holding photograph began to surface on Twitter, which were subsequently covered by Gawker, The Daily Dot, Talking Point Memo and Mediate, among other news outlets.
Anti-Drone Strike Campaign
Meanwhile, the critics of Obama administration’s drone strike policy also jumped in on the hashtag meme with parodies of Michelle Obama’s sign-holding photograph. On May 12th, BuzzFeed picked up on the anti-drone campaign.
New York Times – First Lady Condemns Abduction of Nigerian Schoolgirls
Talking Point Memo – Ann Coulter’s Hashtag Hijacking Of #BringBackOurGirls Backfires Big Time
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