Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in ComLead

Friday November 13th 2015 tragedy struck in Paris, France.  Several attacks were made by members of the group ISIS on Parisian people and visitors.  At least 129 people were killed and hundreds more were injured.  It is times like these when global support and sharing news and information is crucial. Social media, a tool often criticized, played a large role in facilitating support and aid in this crisis.

When the attacks occurred on Friday night each one was reported through twitter by a civilian.  People were using Twitter and even Facebook to tweet and make statuses updating and warning others about the attacks.  Sometimes it can take time for the news to get out information to the public on a crisis but social media allows people to access real time updates.

Facebook activated its safety check tool, the first time it has had to do so for a crisis caused by human activity.  The tool allows users located in an area affected by crisis to mark themselves and others as safe.  Facebook also created a profile picture frame that allows users to put a filter of the French flag over their profile picture to show support.

Mashable, a digital media website, used Twitter to honor victims of the attacks.  They created an account called “En Memoire” where they tweet out a picture of a victim along with a sentence or two about them. People also took full advantage of hashtags during the crisis.  Listed below are some of the hashtags used not only to show support but to lend direct help to those in need.

  • #PrayForParis- Tweeted by 6.7 million people around the world in just the first 10 hours in order to show support.
  • #PorteOuverte- Means “Open Door” and was tweeted by people who were offering shelter to those in need.  It was used 1 million times in the first ten hours.
  • #StrandedInUS- Created to provide help for French people whose flights had been canceled, leaving them stranded in the U.S.
  • #RechercheParis- People used this hashtag to tweet descriptions of loved ones, requests for information, and to share news when someone missing had been found alive.
  • #UneBougiePourParis- Means “A Candle for Paris” and people showed their support by lighting candles around the city.

What happened in Paris less than a week ago is horrific and the grief that has ensued is insurmountable.  But, how wonderful it is to see so much support and love surrounding the city and those affected.  Living in a day where we have the tools that allow us to show our support and help others from across the world is something we can be thankful for.


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