The recent acts of terrorism in the heart of France- Paris, left 129 dead and injured 352 in their wake. Claiming responsibility for these horrendous acts of violence, terrorist militia ISIS, has the world burning with outrage and contempt. But, this time, like never before, individuals and communities alike, have come together on social media to abhor the actions of the extremist group. Yes, the attacks on Paris may have recieved more social media attention than the bombings in Beirut and continual atrocities that thousands suffer around the world but, never has social media played such a huge role in the display of utter disgust as it has when more than a hundred innocent lives were taken in Paris, a city which is considered a mecca for art, culture, tourism and most of all love.
The first signs of social media's condemnation could be spotted on Facebook with a mass adoption of the 'profile picture tool', with which Facebook users could superimpose the French Flag on their profile pictures. This was also accompanied by scores of status updates damning the attacks, signifying a sense of unity amongst netizens around the world, who practically live & thrive on Facebook. Hashtags such as #ParisAttacks and #NousSommesUni (French for- We are united) were a few of the many trend-setters globally on Twitter as well. Twitter also saw a host of messages from parisians willing to open their homes to those who were stranded in the city due to the mass attacks.
These calls of solidarity for Paris were followed by pictures of prominent buildings around the world lighting up with the colours of the french flag. Mumbai's 128 years old Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus building was also seen in hues of Red, White & Blue, for which it recieved both appreciation and flak from Indians at the same time.
Mumbai's CST station in the colours of the French flag
Since the ISIS's attack on Paris was also misconcieved as an act of violence by the Muslim community in general, members of the community around the world also joined the protest bandwagon. A group of stand-up comedians called 'House of Lolz' posted a video on their Facebook page. Members of the stand-up club can be seen criticising the attacks. "I am a Pakistani Muslim," says one of the members, as the video opens. The group goes on to describe how many such acts of terror are commonplace in Pakistan and that people of Pakistan share the same fundamental problems as the rest of the world.
To Paris, From Pakistan
Please share it as much as you can so it reaches the people in Europe!#PrayForParis #PrayForTheWorldFor more videos: Like House of LolzFollow Us:Twitter: https://twitter.com/lolzstudiosPKInstagram: https://instagram.com/HofLolzSMHZ: https://facebook.com/syedmuzamilhasan Posted by House of Lolz on Sunday, November 15, 2015
Another video titled 'Not in my Name' by a group of British muslims also surfaced on their YouTube channel - 'Conflict Studies'. The video shows members of the British muslim community denouncing ISIS saying, "The ISIS do not represent Islam or any Muslim." The crux of the video is in a statement from each Muslim member of the group saying, "Not in my name," which is a way of saying that these acts of terror are far from the principles of Islam.
The biggest blow to the Islamic State came with Hacker group Anonymous posting a video titled 'Operation Paris' on YouTube, declaring war against the terrorist organisation. Anonymous is an international network of Hacktivists which has been operating for the past 12 years. The video saw an individual from the group sporting their signature 'V for Vendetta' style mask, warning the militant group to "Expect us." The voice in the video does not mince words and says, "These Attacks cannot be left unpunished. That's why Anonymous Worldwide will track you (The Terrorists)."
There are many roles that social media plays in the world and whatever the reason behind this outburst against the Paris attacks, the one thing to take away is that with this act of terrorism and countless others before this, ISIS has defeated the very purpose of a terrorist attack which is to divide communities. Social media is once again proving its importance as a tool that unites people in testing times and the technology that assists cannibalistic organisations like ISIS, may just bring it down to its knees.