Kenyans united on Twitter by #147notjustanumber
The power of social media was at play as Kenyans used a hashtag to put faces and names behind the Garissa attack victims figures issued by the government.
With the State tightening the noose on how mainstream media should cover terrorist attacks, Kenyans on Twitter took it upon themselves to reveal the identities of both the dead, the injured and those who survived the terrorist attack at Garissa University College on Thursday.
The government has said some 148 people were killed during the 11-hour siege.
The hashtag #147notjustanumber was started on Saturday by Ushahidi co-founder Ory Okolloh who told Wall Street Journal that hers was “an effort to humanize victims of terror.”
“We will name them. One by one. They are these ‘young Africans’ we speak of all the time. Chasing dreams,” tweeted Okolloh through her username @Kenyanpundit.
Relative and friends of the affected families used the hashtag to put out the names and pictures of the loved ones they lost or are nursing injuries in hospitals.
Kenyans on Twitter also aired their opinions using the hashtag, which has been trending globally.
A tweeter @mycallmichael wrote:
“Westgate was JUST A NUMBER Mpeketoni was JUST A NUMBER Mandera was JUST A NUMBER Garissa will NOT JUST BE A NUMBER #147notjustanumber.”