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Paris attacks: Resilience must defeat despair

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Nowadays you would stumble upon the word ‘terrorism’ more often than your conscious mind can recall. Today’s Paris attacks, where people were targeted, shot and bombed, at various locations, killing over 120 and leaving hundreds injured with physical and emotional injuries, is one such instance.

The chronic enactment of terrorism in the world is leading to a rather displeasing resilience than fear.

We are in a time where terror attacks are becoming more common than laughter clubs. It might not be regular occurring in a confined space but with widening phenomena of global citizenship, we all are affected by it in some way or other.

Terrorism has become a recurring news headline. Innocuous items like a backpack or a drink and even humans themselves (suicide bombers) are becoming the means of lethal assaults, making it evident that the threat of terrorism hangs over us at all times. Terrorism has become the prime agenda in every nation’s national and international security docket. That defiantly makes terrorism the biggest security threat of our times.

Every individual is under the threat of it and especially on their own soil, some of these terror attacks have already taken place, though most of them are yet to be speculated. September 11, 2001, terrorist attack in the United States; July 7, 2005, terrorist attack in Britain; or November 26, 2008, terrorist attack in Mumbai; these are defiantly not one of a kind.

For the reason that, just when the world began to consider terror is a phenomenon, which prevails simply in disputed countries, Paris was struck by well-coordinated attacks on Friday night, killing more than 120 people. This proves that no nation-state is secure from terror and no individual can estimate their chances of being affected by it.

Terrorism affects people and society in several ways- economically, socially, culturally and politically. Although, the prime suffering involved in such attacks is the physiological and emotional trauma.

However, these factors only contribute to building a better social resilience among the people. Society is yet not as fragmented as it is estimated to be. In the hours of distress, people tend to be more cohesive than expected.

Such cohesive behaviour is imbibed in human nature and witnessed by people in the wake of sudden anguish. This has been evidently seen in India, for example, post the 26/11 terror attacks, not only did Mumbaikars protest against the attacks, but the entire nation came together to show their camaraderie towards the victims and their families.

This behaviour of the masses creates a social resilience in the society. For probably the first time a terror attack would create fear and anxiety in people as it would be a new concept to experience but the more often such incidents occur the most immune society becomes.

Thus, in the contemporary situation individuals and societies are losing their astonishment and interest in such devastating incidents. The more frequently terrorist acts take place the more society becomes thick-skinned, in order to defeat the fear. However, that doesn’t mean the society is less considerate, rather they wish to not live in fear.

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  • Siddhi Soi

    Well written and different point of view. In fact if someone is bad for you, one must still maintain one’s character

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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 are many. 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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facebook
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)