Skip to main content

Change your Facebook profile picture to reflect Lebanon or Kenya’s flag too

facebook flag filters france lebanon kenya screen shot 2015 11 15 at 12 20 59 pm
As the people of France continue their valiant attempts at making sense of the senseless violence that has claimed the lives of at least 129, much of the world has taken to social media to voice and show their support. From peace symbols emblazoned with the Eiffel Tower to moving quotes about light overcoming darkness, all platforms have been inundated by outpourings of grief, empathy, and a promise for a better tomorrow. Perhaps one of the most ubiquitous signs of solidarity has been the Facebook temporary profile picture filter, which superimposes a French flag atop users’ photos.

And while a time of international mourning should never be manipulated into a tragedy contest, many have noted that Facebook’s decision to introduce not only this filter, but also the safety check-in for users in Europe, was noticeably limited to this most recent incident, despite the fact that just the day before, a pair of bombings in Beirut killed 43 and wounded well over 200. No Lebanese flag, however, has been introduced. There was also no Facebook filter option for Kenya when an attack back in April killed 147 and injured at least 79 others.

Of course, this is not to say that showing support for the victims of the Paris attack via Facebook is a form of selective solidarity — but the lack of availability and visibility provided by not only Facebook, but mainstream media as well is an issue that has yet to be adequately addressed.

3 lebanon_france_filter

So in an attempt to create a homegrown solution to this apparent lack of, say, equal empathy, Vietnam based designer Hubert Southall is sending out a call to all graphic designers and art directors “to cover the filter void” that has ignited controversy across the Facebook user base.

According to a recent press release, Southall has offered to add a Lebanon, Iraq, or Kenya flag filter to anyone who sends him their profile picture on Facebook. And to address growing demand, the artist is asking other designers to join him.

1 lebanese_filter

“I am struggling to keep up,” he said. “I’ve had requests from thousands of people from over 30 countries. People want a way to support without exclusion. I think it’d be great if all designers offer their services on Facebook to help out. Adding a filter over someone’s picture takes about 10 seconds to do.”

So while changing your profile picture may not be changing the world, in moments when clicktivism is all that’s available to you, it’s reassuring to know that you can at least do that much in a more global, widely encompassing way.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
How to delete your Facebook account
top tech stories facebook

With the Cambridge Analytica fiasco in 2018 followed by a hack that compromised more than 50 million accounts, it's no wonder people want to cut ties with Facebook. Thankfully, you can delete an account in a matter of minutes.

Facebook actually provides two options: Deactivate and delete. Deactivating your account merely puts your information on temporary hiatus so you can take a breather without jumping ship. Deleting an account, however, permanently rids the site of your data. That information includes photo albums, likes, status updates, timeline info, and more.

Read more
The Off-Facebook Activity tool lets you take control of your shared data
fbi wants social media data facebook app mem2

Facebook is hoping to be more transparent about your data and activity by expanding a new privacy feature to the U.S. and the rest of the world. 

The new feature is called the Off-Facebook Activity tool, which was previously only available to people in Spain, Ireland, and South Korea. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the worldwide feature rollout on Tuesday, January 28, which is appropriately Data Privacy Day. 

Read more
Mayor Pete thinks Zuckerberg is too powerful and it’s time to break up Facebook
Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying that he has too much power and that the social network should be broken up. 

In a new interview with the New York Times editorial board published on Thursday, January 16, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, voiced his concerns over Facebook and how much power Zuckerberg has over the tech giant. 

Read more