Despite the criticism of armchair activism, this could be a watershed moment if attention surrounding these events can transform into something altogether more sustained and ambitious. If we can seize the momentum of interest and look beyond the immediate ambition to #bringbackourgirls, it could be possible to shape a world where we #protectallgirls.
The danger of the hashtag is the accompanying sense that the hashtagger has 'done their bit' in a humanitarian crisis. No need to submit a monetary donation, volunteer for a charity or arrange a fundraiser like the good old days; the beauty of social media means that you just have to press a key and you've made somebody's life that little bit better. But have you?
'Seeds are buried treasure,' says Simran Sethi, global speaker, educator and environmentalist. Ms Sethi talks about seeds with passion because, she says, humans have an interdependent relationship with them: 'seeds are life', she tells me; nature's most early beginnings, without which humans could not have thrived. And now they are under threat.
Since the dawn of social media, citizens of the social space have been exposed to an ever-increasing number of causes and movements. This in turn has helped to propagate the notion of 'slacktivism', the perception - arguably the delusion - that you can effect change without really doing anything at all.
Every night, when we sit down in front of the television, the inevitable adverts pop up. That generic charity appeal that makes the room go silent, where a small, semi-naked, helpless child crawls across our television screens and the only thing we can do is awkwardly squirm or hope that our satellite box has enough minutes to fast forward.
Whiteboards have become the most crucial weapon in the battle for social justice since Tumblr was invented. It has become a fortunately common practice in academic circles to stand in some picturesque part of your university holding a whiteboard with either a pro-social justice claim inscribed thereon, or an example of some unpleasant piece of bigotry hurled your way by some socially unreformed reprobate...
I grew tired of always being against everything, traditional activism is a culture that exists in opposition to the world's wrongs. While positive thinking is constantly hailed as the optimum state of mind, here the aim was to draw attention to the negative. It was Twitter, normally happy to provide reasons to be disillusioned, that introduced me to an alternative - craftivism.
As the epidemic continues to rage today, we need ACT UP's inspiring message more than ever. I am endlessly amazed by the difference between the public and the private face of HIV in the UK; between the shiny NGO propaganda and the hard reality on the ground; between the grandiose intentions of HIV policy-makers and what is happening in practice.