#147notjustanumber is the hashtag that gives life to each person slain in the Kenya attack

As survivors are found, internet users identify the victims.
As survivors are found, internet users identify the victims.
Image: Reuters/Thomas Mukoya
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After Islamist militants attacked Garissa University College in Kenya, headlines around the world spoke of “147 killed Kenyan students.” A viral social media campaign shows the individuals behind that statistic, victim by victim. Users are posting photos and names of those who were slain using the hashtag #147notjustanumber.

On April 2, five armed gunmen from the terrorist group al-Shabaab entered the school, and embarked on a killing spree, singling out non-Muslim students. The number of slain Garissa University College students rose to 148 since the hashtag was launched. One of the gunmen has been identified as the son of a Kenyan government official, the government said Sunday.

The hashstag was started by Ory Okolloh Mwangi. She told The Wall Street Journal the hashtag was “an effort to humanize victims of terror.” As of Monday morning, it garnered 38,000 tweets according to hashtag tracking service Topsy. Over the weekend a graphic photo, shared over the weekend on social media, showed scores of murdered Garissa students lying prostrate in a classroom.

People started tweeting images of the victims:

And, in some cases, survivors:

The hashtag is also used to show solidarity with the victims, and to point out how the world reacted to the tragedy, especially in comparison to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, which killed 12. Okolloh Mwangi, who started the campaign is a former Google executive and currently, director of investments at the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic foundation launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.