Over a week okay, Paris fell victim to an attack by the now well-known international terrorist organization, ISIS. Since then, the world has rallied together behind Paris and the rest of the country of France in order to show their support for the brutalized nation.
One of these methods taken has fallen under the social media category. A new Facebook filter that puts the French flags across people’s already existing profile pictures.
“I turned my profile picture red, white, and blue to show my solidarity for the people in Paris,” says Melissa Mandia, a junior studying abroad in Florence, Italy.
Many people will equate the Facebook filter change to the legalization of same-sex marriage, which occurred on June 26, 2015. After this monumental change, many gave their profile pictures a tint of rainbow in support of the new legislation.
As it would turn out, many people view the attacks on Paris as another cause for this support via Facebook, as evidenced by the many profile pictures cloaked in red, white, and blue stripes.
“I think the point of changing your profile picture during any world-altering event, be it the Paris terrorist attack or the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage, is to say, ‘I’m with you,’” Mandia continues.
However, there are those that do not believe this is a useful way of supporting the French people, especially in light of the other attacks and tragedies around the world.
“I feel as if the French flag filters were a lazy person’s means of showing support,” says Kathleen Wilhelm, a senior at Marist College. “I think it’s weird that the French filter is such a big deal when places like Lebanon and Syria have had it far worse for longer.”
Wilhelm is not alone in holding this notion. In addition, Charlotte Farhan, a French citizen from Paris, acknowledged publicly that she would not be changing her profile picture to show any more sympathy for Paris than the other places in the world that endure terror each and everyday. The Facebook post can be seen below:
The post reads: “I won’t be changing my profile to the French flag even though I am French and from Paris. The reason for this is that if I did this for only Paris this would be wrong. If I did this for every attack on the world, I would have to change my profile everyday several times a day. My heart is with the world, no borders, no hierarchy. I hold every human’s life with value who is attacked by extremist beliefs whether they are based on religion, prejudice, or profit! Don’t be a part of the “us and them” mentality which the war mongers want you to do!”
With an event so catastrophic and traumatizing as the attacks on Paris, the outpouring of support, such as the change of profile pictures, is not surprising. However, it is an issue that can only be resolved by one’s own personal opinion. While there may be no concrete change made by altering a profile picture, the pure sight of it may be of comfort to French citizens now living with a tragic memory embedded in their nation.
The choice is left to the Facebook user. Though some would argue that closer attention and homage should be paid to the other countries that endure similar hardships in their day-to-day lives.