BIDD Theme Paris: a tale of two hashtags #digitaldiplomacy

  • 14th November 2015
BIDD Theme Paris: a tale of two hashtags #digitaldiplomacy

paris-attacks-For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

In times of crisis, Newton’s third law of physics offers up a surprisingly robust framework to explore how the world reacts.

After the explosions and multiple shootings that rocked the French capital on Friday night, heads of state and politicians poured out their sympathy for the victims on Twitter.



But a more meaningful sentiment focused around the hashtag, #PortesOuvertes – as residents of Paris declared an open door policy to people scrambling to find safety in the city as the number of attacks increased and the confusion multiplied.



But at the same time, another hashtag was quickly gaining traction. Supposed supporters of the Islamic State on Twitter adopted the moniker, #باريس_تشتعل, meaning ‘Paris burns’. It was the same hashtag used during the attacks on Charlie Hebdo’s offices earlier this year.


There have been multiple calls to Twitter to ban the hashtag, but so far the calls have fallen on deaf ears.

The negative sentiment appeared in other ways, too. Some even went so far as to attribute blame more widely and target politicians in their own countries.



The internet is a perfect environment for competing ideas to surface and spread after a major world event. In psychology there is a term that perfectly encapsulates this response: vicarious rehearsal.

This term outlines that the further away by distance or relationship a person is from a threat, the more extreme the reaction becomes.

In some cases, these people may reject the proposed course of action, choose another, or insist that they too are at risk and need the recommended remedy, such as a vaccination or a visit to an emergency room. In its most troublesome form, these “worried well” will heavily tax the recovery and response,” explains the international journal of emergency health. 

As the confusion subsides and people start to piece together what happened on Friday 13, others thousands of miles away will also be trying to find their own way of coming to terms with what happened.

It would be futile for this publication to weigh in on who is right or wrong in this case. To join the picket lines on either side of this fence and scream for the other to abandon their opinion and adopt our own does little to aid the grieving process.

As I have said before, no one person or website can hold back the tide of negative sentiment that swirls around the Web. All we can do is try to offer a way to help others interpret their own feelings and maybe, just maybe, learn to empathise with those we share a hashtag with.

Please follow and like us:

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages


  • Diplomacy has gone strongly digital, India at forefront: FS Shringla | India News 9th July 2020
    Diplomacy has gone strongly digital, adapting to the situation arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and India has been at the forefront of it with Prime Minister Narendra Modi turning challenge into opportunity to start global conversations using virtual platforms, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Monday. Speaking at a webinar organised by the […]
  • Disarmament blog: what’s the point of the Conference on Disarmament? 7th July 2020
    Skip to content Aidan Liddle UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament Part of Conference on Disarmament 7th July 2020 Geneva, Switzerland Disarmament blog: what’s the point of the Conference on Disarmament? The Conference on Disarmament resumed its 2020 session on Tuesday, after a break of 122 days. (We had been supposed […]

RSS Diplo Portal Belgrade

  • Statement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis 11th July 2020
    Greece condemns in the strongest terms Turkey's decision to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. This decision -that came 85 years since its designation as a museum- is an offense to its universal nature. This is a decision that offends all those who acknowledge the monument as part of world civilisation. Of course, this […]
  • Srebrenica Genocide 25th Anniversary Commemorated Amid Pandemic 11th July 2020
    Original Article The post Srebrenica Genocide 25th Anniversary Commemorated Amid Pandemic appeared first on Diplomatic portal.

Catalog of Destroyed and Desecrated Churches in Kosovo ( VIDEO )

How Belgrade based diplomats use Digital Diplomacy and Internet 2016

Diplo Portal Belgrade

Please follow and like us:
Scroll Up

Enjoy BIDD? Please spread the word :)