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Moment of Silence Begins Bataclan Concert for Paris Attack Victims, where 130 people got Killed and 500 wounded in Islamic State Terrorist Attack, a Year Ago

Rock star Sting headlined the Bataclan concert, which started with a minute of silence to remember the 90 people who were gunned down in the music hall on November 13, 2015

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British musician Sting performs on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, in this photo provided by Universal Music France, Nov. 12, 2016. VOA
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November 12, 2016: The Bataclan concert hall in Paris reopened Saturday night, nearly a year after 130 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded in the city in a coordinated attack by Islamic State (IS) militants.

Rock star Sting headlined the Bataclan concert, which started with a minute of silence to remember the 90 people who were gunned down in the music hall on November 13, 2015.

IS claimed responsibility for the November attacks on eight sites, including the concert hall, cafes and a soccer stadium. It was the worst extremist violence ever to hit France.

The November attacks came just 10 months after an attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and the resulting three-day manhunt for the suspects. In all, 17 people were killed, as were three suspects. IS claimed responsibility for that attack as well.

British musician Sting performs on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Nov. 12, 2016. The show marked the reopening of the hall one year after suicidal jihadis turned it into a bloodbath and killed 90 revelers. VOA
British musician Sting performs on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Nov. 12, 2016. The show marked the reopening of the hall one year after suicidal jihadis turned it into a bloodbath and killed 90 revelers. VOA

After the moment of silence, Sting, lead singer for the British band The Police before he began a long solo career, told the crowd in attendance: “Tonight we have two tasks to achieve: first, to remember those who lost their lives in the attack, and then to celebrate life and music in this historic place.”

Daniel Psenny, who was wounded during the attack on the Bataclan last year, told The Associated Press that he was not apprehensive about Saturday’s concert.

“It was a concert of reconciliation. We are starting a new life; we start to live again,” Psenny told the AP.

However, Elodie Suigo, who lost six friends in the Bataclan attack, said, “It was difficult going through that door. I don’t think I was the only one.

“Everyone was looking at each other thinking: ‘What do we do here? We are lucky to be here, so let’s get in.’ We think about those who are not there anymore and we think about this place, how it was a year ago,” Suigo told the AP.

Proceeds from Saturday’s concert were earmarked for two charities helping survivors of the attacks, the Reuters news agency reported. (VOA)

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Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

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Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter will be identifie too. VOA

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

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This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as VK.com, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)