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Social media's impact on the world's vision of France after the attacks

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  1. French Culture is a big part of the french learning programme in UCC. As a student studying french with my degree, I have studied french film, french music, french history, french politics and even french comic books, all during my 1st year in college. This year (2nd Year) we have cut back on the culture aspect and now we mainly focus on speaking and grammar, but I still hold a passion for french culture in my heart, and it deeply affects me when something horrific happens in the city of love, Paris.
  2. The way we share the news of tragedies today, is very different from how people would break the news 20 years ago. Of course there was the television, and you would get your news there, but in the Digital Age we have so much information at our fingertips. Twitter is nearly 10 years old, and Facebook nearly 12. These platforms have become the main place to share opinions, what people are doing in their everyday lives, Twitter being used for educational use, Facebook being used to catch up with old friends, but they mostly share stories and breaking news of what's happening around the world.
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  4. The Charlie Hebdo incident was a spectacle that shook the world back in January. No one thought such a barbaric thing could happen, especially to people who spent their days drawing cartoons, trying to make a living. Social media exploded with nothing but love and support for France, and the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack: cartoonists Cabu, Charb, Honoré, Tignous and Wolinski, psychoanalyst Elsa Cayat, economist Bernard Maris, proof-reader Mustapha Ourrad, police officer Frank Brinsolaro protecting Charb, Michel Renaud, founder of the Rendez-vous du Carnet de voyage festival invited to the meeting, and caretaker Frédéric Boisseau. There was also those who were seriously wounded: cartoonist Riss, journalists Philippe Lançon and Fabrice Nicolino and webmaster Simon Fieschi.
  5. This Image of Muhammed printed by the French satirical weekly newspaper "Charlie Hebdo", translates "100 lashes if you don't die laughing", provoked two brothers belonging to the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen to kill those mentioned above. The hashtags #JeSuisCharlie and #CharlieHebdo were circulating Twitter after this brutal attack. Artists and graphic designers showed their support by creating powerful images to show that the french had strength and could resisit anything.
  6. These images symbolise the power of the pen. "Je suis Charlie" is a slogan created by french art director Joachim Roncin. It is said to identify the supporter with those who were killed. An amazing way to use social media.
  7. A while back in one of my Digital Humanities lectures, we were shown the website floatingsheep.org. It geo-codes data found on the internet to a particular spot on earth. Giving a small glimpse into what users think about particular places. FloatingSheep loves to geo-code tweets according to the hash-tags that were used at a certain time. I had a look to see if anything was geo-coded about the recent Paris attacks, but instead, I found the Twitter reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. They collected 73,000 geo-tagged tweets between a 36 hour time period, from January 7th - noon January 8th, and they had to contain either hashtag: #JeSuisCharlie or #CharlieHebdo.
  8. What they found was that Europe expressed the most attention towards these attacks, especially those located in France and Belgium. Ireland came 14th in this list of countries who tweeted the most about this tragedy. I hope that FloatingSheep are in the process of making an interactive map on the Paris attacks, as I found this one quite Interesting.
  9. This Image was created by artist Jean Jullien, and posted on Instagram a day after the brutal Paris attacks that struck several places in Paris, roughly around the same time on the 13th of November 2015. It has become a very popular image, being shared by thousands of people across every different platform of social media.
  10. I felt myself having more empathy towards this specific unfolding of attacks in Paris, rather than the Charlie Hebdo attack, because the attackers targeted places where a lot of people my age were at. The Bataclan being the bloodiest attack, tugged at my heart-strings. Reading one girls' description of how she laid under numerous dead bodies for over an hour to hide herself from the terrorists, showed me that these shocking scenes that we see in the movies happen to real people. I relate so much to that girl, she is 22 years old, and I'm halfway through my year of being 20. She was just spending a regular friday night at a concert with her friends. She started off her Facebook post, that was shared over 428,000 times, by saying "You never think it would happen to you". It's true. We don't think these things will ever happen to us. The power of social media let this girl get her side of the story across, and it shocked millions. She even shared the photo of her top covered in blood, to many's disbelief.
  11. One Irish man, brought it even more close to home, as he live tweeted the attacks all the way from a restaurant in Paris.
  12. Without technology, I feel as human beings, we would not feel as much empathy for these attacks. Of course factors like geographical location and being able to relate to a subject or area matters in being able to feel empathy with a person or place, but technology brings us even closer. By sharing the horrific video of gunshots going off in the Bataclan, or the video of the injured running out of the club, fleeing for safety, we have never been so close to feeling as if we were actually there. It's a scary thing, but for humanity, it gives us that extra push to try and contribute in helping such causes.
  13. Video Shows Moment Of Mass Shooting Inside Bataclan Concert Hall
  14. In other ways technology is scary. This chilling video below was released a few days ago. It shows ISIS threatening America and upto 80 other countries. Ireland is one of those countries, as we can see the Irish flag in the video.
  15. This could be because Ireland supported France throughout the attacks, in ways that we all thought we were helping out. We changed our profile pictures to support France, to show a stand of solidarity. We tweeted, we posted on facebook, we shared, we reposted Jean Jullien's peace for Paris image on instagram, and where did it get us? It made us feel better about the situation. It made us feel like we were helping. It showed the people of France that we care, and that they are not alone.