Social Media: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

For every horrendous human atrocity (that makes Western media headlines), there is a social media reaction. People who don’t normally post political opinions or comments, or even follow the news want to share their thoughts with the world. It is a strange phenomenon, but it has somehow become a normalised form of behaviour in our society.

Friday 13th, sparked a variety of opinions on social media platforms. Five main categories of thought can thus be observed, including their counter comments.

Firstly, some Muslims felt obliged to apologise for their religion. Then there are the Muslims that comment on the latter, clearly stating that they must not apologise for their religion, as ISIS does not represent their beliefs.


Secondly, there are those that blame the refugee crisis for what happened. They are simply reflecting the views of right-wing politicians. Then there are those that express strong counter arguments to the latter – explaining that the refugees are not to blame and that they are fleeing the same terrors that just hit France.


Thirdly, there are those that show their support to France by using a transparent version of the French flag superimposed on their Facebook profile picture.  Then there are those that  refuse to change their profile pictures, as they see it as an outrage that we, as a society, have a selective form of grievance. That we overlook the human tragedies happening elsewhere. Hinting towards the idea, and in some cases, clearly stating that white lives bear more importance, or so it would seem, than non-whites. Thus creating a ‘Them’ and ‘Us’ rhetoric.

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The fourth main stance that can be observed, is the idea that France had this coming to her. That since the 1970s most of the Western hemisphere has made some awful political decisions, and that their policies with regards to the Middle East are rotten to their core, outdated and need to be changed.


The Return of the Boomerang

Another social media reaction that can be perceived as a post-incident reaction, is the coping strategy of the French people. Many people are scared, and shaken as another attack may be waiting around the corner. On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who refuse that their freedoms, and love for life be reduced to a life of fear. Consequently encouraging people to go about their lives, and even go that extra mile, such as this amusing Facebook community page.

Lastly, there are those that adopt a more general perspective on the incident and call for world solidarity. This last trail of thought is not exclusive to all of the above. It is a theme that seems to be a widespread conclusion, however, the reasoning leading up to it can be very different at times.

All in all, these are just mere observations, but what can be said of them? And what do they tell us about our society? These questions bear many possible answers… In the meantime, almost two weeks have passed since the horrible attacks in Paris, and my Facebook newsfeed has gone back to its usual business – featuring posts from The Lad Bible, for example.