The Paris attacks and Social Media
This weekend the world were told about the appalling attacks on innocent people in Paris, with over 100 confirmed dead and the attacks claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.
In this article I am not going to give you my political opinion, my religious opinion and certainly not some new insight into what occurred other than to say that these attacks were not done by a political ideology, a religion, or any other philosophy, they were perpetrated by criminals. Yes they may have been done in the name of a religion but they do not reflect the nature of that religion nor any other religion.
For thousands of years men have disagreed on things. Often these disagreements have ended with fights and lives lost, as mankind we have a history of doing horrible things to each other.
Unfortunately when a group is corrupted by, or lead by a criminal, or a small group of criminals the outcome makes that group look criminal so we tar all members of the group with the same label as the criminals themselves.
Social Media has given an amazing voice to billions of people around the world. I can read about theories and ideas about what happened in minutes from someone in the US, France or even the Middle East by scrolling my feed on facebook.
Some of the messages that come through from those voices are uplifting: hearing that a Twitter hashtag was created within about an hour of the attack by Parisians who were opening their doors to people who were stranded from the attacks so that they could find a bed for the night, or about the taxi drivers who turned their meters off to ferry people home after the Metro was shutdown are uplifting stories that we love to hear.
On the other hand I have read people attacking Muslims and each other over what happened. Someone has an opinion and then someone else attacks that opinion. I noticed this get to the point where I read an article attacking people for using the French Flag filter that facebook created because it didn’t go far enough to solving all of the conflicts around the world. By the way I used the filter and changed my personal profile pic, not to offer an opinion as to who is right or wrong but as a way of showing empathy to the innocent people who were killed in the attack and their families.
The biggest lesson that should be noted is this:
“Terrorism by definition is the spreading of terror by criminals. You have amazing tools at your fingertips to be able to spread your message. Don’t help the terrorists by spreading messages of terror or hate. Let’s kill terrorism by spreading messages of love.”
(c) Digital Tiger 2015