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On Friday night a series of coordinated terror attacks across Paris resulted in the deaths of more than 150 people. The majority of those deaths were at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the city’s Bataclan venue. Given the scale of the attacks, it should hardly be surprising that they attracted serious attention on social media. The sentiments expressed were however far from uniform.
Many simply expressed sympathy with the people of Paris:
#Prayers4Paris Our world is at war with evil all over the globe We must do our part to respect and protect each other from evil everywhere
— Tommy (@delafreak2780) November 14, 2015
— Tony Thurmond (@TonyThurmond) November 14, 2015
Pls be safe everyone #PrayForParis
— Lindsay (@ArtoflovingKS) November 14, 2015
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) November 14, 2015
— George Kaplan (@MzeeMinja) November 14, 2015
— C Constantinides (@ChangeAgentSA) November 14, 2015
all of my love and prayers go out to paris tonight.
— Michael Clifford (@Michael5SOS) November 14, 2015
Paris. Our Sister. Our Ally. Our Friend. The World Grieves & Prays With You. We Stand Strong With You, Mes Amis. pic.twitter.com/sIannfss3Y
— Wisdom Rocks (@GetWisdomDude) November 14, 2015
Others used the opportunity to remind people about what others around the world go through on a daily basis:
Y'know what's happened in Paris? Imagine that happening twice a week, in your street, and you'll have some idea of why folk become refugees.
— Dr Caligari Hibernia (@Hippopeteamus) November 14, 2015
I can't help but contrast the horror expressed for Paris atrocity with the limp response to the over 250 slaughtered since last Burundi poll
— Sure Kamhunga (@SureKamhunga) November 14, 2015
And that far from being to blame for the attacks, the refugees making their way across Europe were actually trying to get away from the kind of people who commit such acts:
so sad that pseudo analysts of prominent EU media are linking #Paris attacks to refugees who are ironically fleeing these SAVAGES !
— Khalid (@ShujaMkweli) November 14, 2015
To people blaming refugees for attacks in Paris tonight. Do you not realise these are the people the refugees are trying to run away from..?
— Dan Holloway (@RFCdan) November 13, 2015
Sme chuts are blaming the refugees for it. Those chuts don't realise they fled such radicals and found refuge in Europe for that very reason
— hﻉrain (@herainm) November 14, 2015
Seeing Europeans line up to help and embrace Muslim refugees infuriated and shattered the worldview of so many Islamist extremists.
— Iyad El-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) November 14, 2015
I wish people would realize refugees aren't trying to carry out terrorist attacks, they are trying to get away from them
— Faiz Ahmed (@fuzzz93) November 14, 2015
Many of those tweets were in reaction to those suggesting that Europe had brought this on itself by accepting refugees in the first place:
There's more than enough refugees in europe already as it is
— Mandeep95 (@TheDeep_Man) November 14, 2015
If you truly believe that, you are in for a RUDE awakening! So you'd be ok on an island with those refugees right? https://t.co/Bbcs4LcWmx
— Jason (@MisterFreedom) November 14, 2015
— Rajat Haldar (@RH_Indian) November 14, 2015
It only takes a few 'refugees' to swim across the boarder and get into Europe . I highly doubt this is a one off attack
— daniel smelliker (@dany_1005) November 14, 2015
Donald Trump appeared to step into the fray, but while this tweet — quickly shut down by the French ambassador to America — seems like something Trump would say, it turned out to not actually be related to this particular event:
— Faeza (@FaezaMoghul) November 14, 2015
Trump’s actual tweets, while still inflammatory, were a little more measured:
My prayers are with the victims and hostages in the horrible Paris attacks. May God be with you all.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2015
Facebook meanwhile showed that it continues to be powerful tool for keeping people connected during disasters by activating its Safety Check tool.
President Obama said "ISIL continues to shrink" in an interview just hours before the horrible attack in Paris. He is just so bad! CHANGE.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2015
“My thoughts are with everyone in Paris tonight,” said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a post announcing the activation of the tool. “Violence like this has no place in any city or country in the world”.