Paris attacks trigger social media war

November 20, 2015
File People react, in front of the restaurant Le Carillon, one of the establishments targeted in last Friday's gun and bomb attacks, in Paris, on Monday.
AP Hooded police officers walk in a street of Saint-Denis, near Paris, on Wednesday.
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Amid the outpour of support for victims of the recent Paris attacks, heated verbal battles arose on social media between those who showed support for the victims and others who bashed such persons for being 'bandwagonists'.

Last Friday, chaos struck in the French city of love when a series of gun and bomb attacks killed approximately 200 persons and injured hundreds more. Extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

support and sympathies

Since then, the hashtag 'Pray For Paris' has been trending on popular social media sites, with persons expressing support and sympathies for the victims.

In addition, social media giant Facebook introduced a temporary feature allowing people to superimpose the French flag on their profile picture in observance of the tragedy in Paris. These occurrences have ignited a heated discussion on social media, with some claiming that the prayers and support should be directed at local problems, as well as tragedies in other predominantly black countries and marginalised countries.

One such user posted: "Y'all go thru war everyday, but I have never seen anybody say pray for Guyana or Jamaica. Yet you let the racist white media have you on a bandwagon. It's OK to have sympathy and feel sorry, but did any of you pray for Kenya when hundreds of students were slaughtered by terrorists?"

Another, on the same side of the debate, added: "So many Africans killed everyday, and I've never seen anyone change their colours for them. But as soon as a few from the white man's country are dead, everybody is now blue, white and red."

Unmoved by detractors, other persons defended their support for Paris.

"Y'all tryna make people feel bad for sayin prayer for Paris. So what if you don't say prayer for Jamaica? There is no mass murder going on in Jamaica," wrote one user.

be better as a nation. Everything is always for self. We can't even take the time out to support other people in need. Somebody asked me today what has France done for them? I had to smh (shake my head)."

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