Social media and how the world reacted to the tragedy in Paris

social media reacts to paris attacks screen shot 2015 11 14 at 41 28 am
On Friday, November 13, Paris was rocked by a series of terrorist attacks, and the world joined hands to lift the people of France to their feet. While I’ll be the first to admit that I often lambast social media for its seeming frivolity, it is in moments of tragedy when the power and the humanity of social media and the people who give it life are at its peak. In the moments, minutes, and now hours after the first attacks, various platforms were used by civilian reporters, supporters, and harbingers of hope who have managed to remind us that even in the darkest display of (in)human capacity, the worldwide community has an unbreakable spirit.

On Friday evening, Twitter became the go-to platform for many seeking real-time coverage of the events unfolding across the French capital. Unfortunately, Periscope, Twitter’s video platform that theoretically allowed users to share footage of happenings, crashed numerous times due to the enormous volume of traffic it experienced. On the other hand, Twitter Moments has become headline central, with a disclaimer warning viewers of sensitive content before revealing the top story, which reads, “The worst terror attacks in France in decades claimed the lives of more than 120 people and led French President Francois Holland to declare a state of emergency.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 11.42.52 AM

The feed, filled with breaking alerts, warnings, and video footage, has become a critical source of information, both for journalists and for those looking to protect themselves or their loved ones from what continues to be a state of mayhem in Paris.

And while social media is doubtless an integral source for reporting in the digital age, it has also become a repository for emotion and sheer humanity. The hashtag  now trends on Paris, with millions of tweets voicing messages of support and love for those affected, hundreds of thousands of miles away. A peace symbol stylized to reflect the famous Eiffel Tower landmark has also made the rounds across a number of platforms, and a number of people, including Elton John, have shared this famous Martin Luther King Jr. quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”


A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

On Facebook, a safety check has been activated so that family members can ensure that their nearest and dearest are safe. “Quickly find and connect with friends in the area. Mark them safe if you know that they’re OK,” the page reads. Users can also change their profile pictures to display a French flag overlay. But one of the most important trends on social media this morning is a reminder that #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist. Soon after the attacks, a number of accusations quickly emerged that blamed refugees for bringing the attacks upon Paris, or worse yet, blaming all Muslims for the ongoing violence. But a 19-year-old made a hard-hitting point that has since been retweeted nearly 70,000 times:

After all, instilling more hatred seems like the least productive thing to do when there is so much at stake.

Instead, we can do what a stadium full of French soccer fans did as they were evacuated from an ongoing match — sing the national anthem, or simply say, “Paris, je t’aime.”


Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Going somewhere? Capture more than your phone can with the best travel cams

Hitting the road or doing some globetrotting this year? Bring along the right camera to capture those once-in-a-lifetime vacation memories. Here's a list of some of our current favorites.

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.

Authentic, holistic, retro photography is in: Here are 2019’s predicted trends

What types of imagery are we most drawn to? According to recent stock photography data from Adobe, StoryBlocks, and Shutterstock, authentic, holistic, and humanitarian content will be in high demand in 2019.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

This A.I.-powered camera follows the action to produce epic selfie videos

Want to capture more epic action selfies? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action. Using a handful of different modes, the camera works to keep the action in the frame.

Sony crams its best camera tech into the new $900 A6400

Love Sony's autofocus, but can't stomach the full-frame price? The Sony A6400 mirrorless camera uses some of the same autofocus technology and the processor of the A9 in a compact, more affordable crop-sensor camera.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…

GoPro bumps resolution on Fusion 360 cam to 5.6K with new firmware

Currently available in public beta, Fusion firmware version 2.0 offers a new 5.8K mode that results in 5.6K output when the 360 camera's two hemispheres are stitched together. It also adds support for 24 fps video and RAW time-lapse…

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.