A woman whose face has become synonymous with the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign online is not Nigerian, has not been abducted and did not give permission to have her photograph associated with the cause.
The viral image, which depicts a young woman named Jenabu Balde staring out from behind her hand, is accompanied by text that reads #BringBackOurGirls. It has been tweeted and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times since the early days of the campaign in late April, and has been appropriated for posters and signs that have been displayed at rallies around the world.
The campaign is focused on a group of Nigerian girls who have been missing since April 15, when a group of Islamic militants known as Boko Haram stormed a high school and took hundreds of girls captive. Some escaped, but 274 remain missing.