Most people will have heard of the Paris terror attacks that happened last weekend (13/11/15). Not only Paris, but Beirut (Lebanon) was subject to a devastating bombing as well. The attacks have since been claimed to have been carried out by ISIS. Does social media have a place in engaging with these debates? Or should it not? This is often a question I find myself having, over whether it comes across as flaunting (first-world) priviledge by attempting to understand what happened. Is it best to silently respond to Paris, rather than flaunting hashtags everywhere?
Here’s a little different post to the usual… (and also a rather ironic one).
The events in Paris undoubtedly shook the Western world. Often when we think of bombings and terrorism, many people think of the Middle-East; it’s not expected in first-world countries. Without getting into the politics of it all, Social Media went a little manic over the weekend. The Paris attacks sparked casual islamophobia, racism and blaming others for posting the wrong thing on their social media.
It makes me wonder whether social media really has a place with events like this. Beirut seemed to be forgotten in the midst of Paris… The sad thing is that it’s becoming more normal for us to hear about bombings in the Middle East. Not that it makes it any more acceptable to have suddenly forgotten about Beirut.
Facebook made a change to its ‘safety check policy’. Allowing loved ones to be able to check in on Facebook under a natural disaster or human disaster. Alongside, the morons that check in as ‘safe’ and they don’t even have any connection to the place at hand, it can prove to be a useful tool.
But is there an element of ‘fakeness’ with Social Media’s response to disasters? The Facebook French flag profile picture for example, do people just do it out of obligation and not sincerity? Maybe I’m just very cynical, but surely obligation has a part to play in social media?
My point is ironically, let’s not take away from the fact that this happened in real life. The internet has a tendency to make things seem not altogether real.