Shortly after the Paris attacks occurred, Facebook recommended a French flag filter that allowed Facebook users to show solidarity for the French people. Days after the San Bernardino terrorist attack place, Facebook has not provided a similar option with the American flag. Now that United States officials have confirmed that Syed Rizwan Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, made a pledge of allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group, some say that Facebook should provide a similar option for the American flag or the California flag.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, in the first half of 2015, several ISIS threats against America were made, but one specifically said that California would be targeted within six months.
Based upon social media comments by ISIS militants, members of the Islamic State, or DAESH, were not fully aware of the plans for the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. Tweets referred to “three lions” being responsible for the attacks, which was based on the mistaken belief that there were three gunmen involved, not a married couple.
According to a law enforcement official who spoke to the New York Times, police believe Syed Farook and Tashfeen Marik were “more self-radicalized and inspired by the group than actually told to do the shooting.” Co-workers of Farook also said they noticed a change in his attitude after marrying his wife from Saudi Arabia, saying, “I think he married a terrorist.”
A report from Vocativ notes that “ISIS has repeatedly inspired deadly attacks on the western world even without direct contact or coordination.” For example, in 2014 ISIS claimed an attack on police officers in Queens was the “direct result” of its calls to action. The gunmen who attacked Texas in May also pledged allegiance to ISIS, and police eventually arrested an ISIS member in Florida named Joshua Ryne Goldberg, who had been plotting an attack in Kansas. In California, ISIS member Nicholas Michael Teausant was arrested in the first half of 2015, and he recently plead guilty to providing material support to the Islamic State.
Writing for CBS, Nick Russo has claimed that the attack “in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday was a terrorist attack even if nobody wants to call it that.” Russo says he found himself “wondering why Facebook hadn’t done anything to help Americans show solidarity like they did for Paris after their terrorist attacks last month.”
“I don’t understand why we haven’t been given an American Flag filter to show solidarity for our friends in California. Were there not enough deaths? Does Facebook consider France more important than the United States? Were European Facebook users given the option to show support for Americans whose lives were taken by terrorists?”
This is not the first time that Facebook’s management has been criticized. Several weeks ago, a writer for The Brown Daily Herald said that he had a “deep issue with Facebook’s management for creating the French flag filter while disregarding other atrocities worldwide.”
“France is our nation’s oldest ally, but for a nation and a social network that connects hundreds of millions of people around the globe, is Facebook’s selective offering of whom to stand with in solidarity not absolutely hypocritical?” said the report.
Websites like Profile Picture Flag provide a way for Americans to act in solidarity against ISIS California terrorist attack, with the website urging users to “support California by changing your profile picture to include the California Flag.”
Not everyone agreed that using Facebook’s French flag was an appropriate response. For example, James Mulvaney, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, wrote on CNN that such attacks need “to be treated seriously, and so Facebook makeup is not the correct response.”
“The truth is that this perhaps well-intentioned show of solidarity cheapens the suffering of Parisians and trivializes the war on terror,” he said. “The new cycle of response to terrorist attacks is this: Grieve loudly, adopt a symbol, justify suspicions of anyone different from ourselves and eventually go back to our relatively carefree and careless lives.”
What do you think?
[Image via Wikimedia Commons/Jnn13 (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL]