The Internet's Tunnel Vision
In order to #beheard, it is necessary to have a solid understanding of what is happening in our world. This is the first in an ongoing series of posts highlighting stories we at Civic Eagle believe are worth researching and discussing.
2015 has gotten off to an inauspicious start. Beginning on the third day of the New Year and continuing throughout the month of January, the world witnessed a number of attacks on the freedom and lives of innocent civilians. The world took notice of some events more than others.
The graph below depicts Google searches over the past twelve months that include the words “Charlie Hebdo” (in blue) and “Nigeria” (in red). The peak of the blue line represents “100,” and every point below the apex represents the amount of searches as a ratio to the highest point. After the attacks in Paris and northeastern Nigeria, the total amount of searches related to the Boko Haram attacks totaled less than 20% of the searches for “Charlie Hebdo,” the main target of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
There is a large bump “Nigeria” received in the summer of 2014, but corresponded with the 2014 World Cup not the 40 girls who were kidnapped in Chibok that happened around the same time. The top of the hill corresponds perfectly with Nigeria’s 3-2 loss to Argentina on June 24, 2014. Roughly twice as many Google searches were made about the country during the soccer match than at the height of a massacre that some international organizations estimate killed as many as 2,000 people.
It is important to point out that the amount of attention paid to the attacks in Paris and the World Cup is entirely justified. The events of January 7th, 2015 were deplorable and need to be covered, understood, and analyzed to help ensure similar attacks do not happen in the future. Likewise, the World Cup unites and entertains the international community.
Neither of these events makes the above graph acceptable. The world needs to take notice when groups of armed militias “cut the throats of schoolboys,” abduct schoolgirls, and seized large swaths of Nigeria. Progress is already being made, as Secretary of State John Kerry is planning a trip to Lagos ahead of the coming presidential elections, but more people must take note of the recent events in the country in order to generate an appropriate response. What that response looks like can take many different forms and is up for debate, but the situation must be addressed in some way. To hear opinions about United States’ foreign policy, and to #beheard yourself, head over to the Debate section of EAGLE.