"Let's play the blame name game for sure, stick around some real feelings might surface" goes the lyrics to one of Kanye West songs. It certainly resonates with the events that happened and folded on Facebook this weekend. Facebook over the weekend gave its users an option of changing their Facebook profile picture to the French flag, and also activated a safety check feature so that people in Paris could let their friends know they are safe. Currently, France is the only one listed.
I feel for and stand with the innocent people of France who have suffered an atrocity. What happens every day in the Middle East is also an atrocity. Social media is about giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected, so silence is our biggest weakness. We need to speak up and defend each other, not over selected countries and people.
Disappointed to see many of my friends take on this feature of customising their profile picture as a support to the tragic events in France over the weekend. Albeit no mention of the loss of life in Turkey or Beirut. This double standard is most reaffirming why are some lives valued, while others are not? Events in Muslim countries do not get the coverage as "Horrific" because Muslims dying is not a big deal. The places where explosive, unexpected violence is a daily occurrence, and emotional exhaustion has become the default.
If we want equal coverage we should be more active in leveraging the content. The Beirut and Turkey stories were in the news, but not enough sharing on social media platforms. Content is aligned to readers' expectation. Coverage of the Paris attacks would be expected to be covered closely and fully. As readers we need to share the stories we want the media to cover. We are seeing a more interconnected world through social media. So collaborative efforts are key and vital in establishing trust. De we need people to sow a division into the future?
The terrorists in Paris attacked bars, restaurants, a stadium and a concert hall. Places that by nature brings us closer together and units us by our common core values. This is what terrorists don't want, they want to divide people and on social media we do some of the work for them.
Over the past couple of years we have now seen social media transform from a raising awareness with fresh perspective and fun sharing platform to bullying through technology.
What is happening today is there are extremists in all communities across the world (some have also been elected) who want to divide the common humanity that connects us all.
It's not about religion it is about division and violence. We must remember that the government and media does not represent the whole country.
The government should keep in mind that people need protecting or they will turn to groups like ISIS. Standing against the biggest man made monster creating the current climate of fear, uncertainty and terror, ISIS and standing up for Muslims.
Do we now think of news to back up our own beliefs? To me standing with France does not mean overlooking any prolonging of sufferings in war zone and non-war zones, but the mourning of victims everywhere. Ma solidarité la plus profonde avec les victimes. Toutes les victimes all over the world.