Social media reacts to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris

The terrorist attack against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has turned into a major international story, and a worldwide phenomenon far larger than I might have expected.

The attack struck a chord far beyond a typical murder. Whether it was the fact that journalists were the victims; whether it was the fact a Muslim cop was also one of the victims; whether it was the fact that the terrorists assassinated an injured police oficer, defenseless and laying on the ground, hands in the air, from point-blank range — something about this story touched a nerve to a greater degree than these type of attacks normally do.

Twitter and Facebook have had a number of poignant images surrounding the attacks. I wanted to share some of them with you.

This one might be my favorite:


The lights were turned off on the Eiffel Tower this evening, in honor of the victims:


The Times of London shows the moment right before the terrorists put a gun to the head of the injured cop and killed him.


A different perspective worth discussing:


I was particularly touched by the vigil in Boston, considering that it was 5 degrees Fahrenheit last night, but still they turned out to mourn 12 deaths half a globe away.


More vigils:


My friend Lunise on Facebook: “12 dead, 66 million wounded.”


Another vigil in Paris — there were more vigils tonight:Screen-Shot-2015-01-08-at-4.14.27-PM

Another brilliant cartoon from Lalo Alcaraz:Screen-Shot-2015-01-08-at-4.16.54-PM

Update from AP:


And finally, proof that not every light in the world has been extinguished:


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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5 Responses to “Social media reacts to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris”

  1. Mike F says:

    My opinion is that while the cartoons in Charlie are to an extent childish, they were informed by a very adult knowledge of the dangers of religions, and extremism of every stripe. If someone is compelled to think about their own views on religious and political extremism by these cartoons (of which I’ve viewed many), then I don’t view the people at Charlie as “assholes”. I don’t consider them heroes either, as it devalues true heroism, but it certainly strikes me that they had courage, and just plain moxy, to publish these cartoons in the face of extremist censure (which seems often to come, in a craven and cynical manner, at the point of a gun). I don’t view them as exemplars of human goodness either, but on the other hand, in light of the increasingly extremist viewpoints of the right wing here in the US, and its expansionist policies towards both Europe and the African continent, and the continuing silence on the part of corporate-owned media towards this extremism, what choice do we have? Slapping someone in the face, or shouting at them to get their attention is generally counter-productive, I think we both can agree on that, but if no one is listening otherwise, what other avenues can rational, thinking people of conscience do to awaken the populace to the insidious influence of religious and political extremism?

    Pieing Anita Bryant was childish, but did it gain the attention of those who would have otherwise yawned, and rolled over to go back to sleep? Yes. Throwing glitter at Senators and Reps, childish? Yes. Some have even viewed environmentalists’ sitting in redwood trees to protest logging as childish, but it did garner the attention of the sleeping, profit-minded media. All of these tactics and more–used by groups across the political and religious spectrum–are the direct result of desperation and frustration on the part of otherwise rational people of conscience who saw no action. Non-violent tactics all. And if silence=death, then why remain silent, or sit behind a podium, hoping that someone will listen as you drone on–albeit with passion–about this subject or that?

  2. nicho says:

    Tim Wise, on his Facebook page, makes some excellent points:

    As we rightly condemn the senseless and barbaric murders of journalists in Paris can we still manage to have a rational conversation about free speech, without the empty platitudes about how these cartoonists were “heroes?” For instance, I believe it is possible to agree that free speech is an essential value, and that journalists should have the right to say what they want — even to offend others — without then proceeding to act as though every act of speech (Just because people have a right to it) is therefore worth defending as to its substance, and that free speech protects one from being critiqued for the things one says.

    What I mean is this: I have a right, I suppose, to stand in the middle of Times Square and shout racial or religious slurs. And I surely should be able to do that without fear of being murdered for it. This last point in particular is so obvious as to be beyond debate, I would hope. But if I do this, whether in Times Square or in print, it makes me an asshole, and one who deserves to be labeled as such. Not a hero, but an asshole. And I don’t become a hero just because I insulted people, some of whom might be even bigger assholes than me, and so dangerous and unstable that they decide to hurt me.

    People seem to confuse the principle of free speech with the idea that one’s speech should be protected from pushback; and while violent pushback is always wrong–always–I am uncomfortable with the idea that we should make heroes out of people whose job appears to have been to insult people they considered inferior to themselves. Especially because, historically, satire has always been about barbs aimed at those who are MORE powerful than oneself (the elite, royalty, the dominant social, economic, political or religious group), rather than being aimed down the power structure at those with less power.

    To satirize people who are the targets of institutionalized violence (whether for religious or racial or
    cultural or linguistic or sexual or gendered reasons) is not brave. It’s sort of shitty, in fact. Should it be protected legally? Sure. Should those who do it be killed or punished in any way? Of course not. But should we hold them up as exemplars of who we want to be, all the while ignoring how the exercise of
    their freedom, without any sense of responsibility to the common good, actually feeds acrimony and violence on all sides? I think not. I really think we need to be talking about this.

  3. Badgerite says:

    Sometimes I think these attacks, like the attack on 9/1, are aimed more at the Muslim world than at the west. The west will not be intimidated by this. There were Islamic victims on 9/11 just as there was here.

  4. White&Blue says:

    It’s good to see that people aren’t afraid to stand up to violence.But I didn’t even know they killed a surrendering policeman, wasn’t mentioned in the news when I saw them. However I’m sure they will catch the killers. An expert mentioned that the attackers won’t get any help from the local muslim community (which is the only group that could help them), since they condemn the attack as well.

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