Social media brings us together and creates disparity. Today, I want to highlight the best and the worst of what came out of the atrocious attacks in Paris on social media, and what we can learn from it.
The first social media platform I would like to praise is Facebook: They set up a “check-in” where victims of the attacks could let their family and friends know that they are alive and okay.
The second social media platform I would like to give thanks to is Skype for making all calls to and from Paris free of charge.
Third, I tip my hat to the citizens of Paris. Twitter users opened their doors to stranded strangers with the hashtag #PorteOuverte.
It’s heartwarming to know that people opened their doors to complete strangers in the midst of a terrorist attack.
Furthermore, I’m impressed by the CBC. Their coverage was based on evidence, and each reporter who tirelessly covered the unfolding events refrained from using biased language. The CBC journalists took every opportunity to say: We will not make assumptions; we will continue to inform the public with the upmost journalistic integrity.
What disappointed me was the hate speech that flooded Twitter and Facebook during the following days. Luckily, none of my friends used the tragic events to create division within our society. However, I read posts from my friends replying to the vitriol they read or received from others.
I hesitate to comment on the theocratic ideology of these attacks. But what I can say is that we must remain as a global society connected by social media in a positive way. We cannot let targeted attacks divide us, because this only serves the agenda of a minority. Rather, we should send a message via social media that we are one and we will not stand for violence nor injustice.