Quite a number of people that I know on Facebook are not happy about Facebook’s racism, when they offered a French flag to cover one’s profile picture and urged people to Change your profile picture to support France and the people of Paris.
After the news that more than 120 people had been killed in terrorist attacks in the city, many people did change their profile pictures, but I and several others did not. It was not because we do not find the violence reprehensible, or that we do not sympathise with the victims. But we wondered why Facebook had not offered a similar option with the Lebanese flag the day before, when similar attacks had taken place in Beirut.
On Saturday a cousin’s husband posted a Lebanese flag (a cousin on the Hannan side of the family, in case anyone wants to know), and said the following:
In the USA there has recently been a sustained attack by some people against the idea that all lives matter (if you don’t believe me, just Google “All lives matter”). And Facebook, by offering this option in one case, but not the other, appears to be part of this trend. In Facebook’s view, if Lebanese lives matter at all, they matter a lot less than French lives.
Earlier in the year, 147 students were victims of a terrorist massacre in Kenya — more than in Paris. Facebook never suggested that people change their profile picture to support the people of Kenya, nor did they offer a Kenyan flag to make it easy for people to do so.
So someone posted the graphic on the right. Not quite fair, I think, because Facebook did not offer the option of posting any of those flags. If it had, maybe more people would have posted them.
Similar events have also taken place in Nigeria. At one time there was a hashtag on Twitter #bringbackourgirls but Facebook did not offer a Nigerian flag either.
And then someone else posted this graphic on Facebook, obviously trying to do what Facebook has refused to do.
If you don’t like Facebook’s racism, why not like and share one or more of these on Facebook, whether you have covered your profile picture with a French flag or not.