Following an update that allowed users to add a French flag filter to show support for victims of the Paris attacks, many are criticizing Facebook for being quick to display support for one nation but not for other crises happening around the world.
While we shouldn’t discount the lives lost in Paris, we also should not forget the lives lost in Beirut and Baghdad, along with continuous sufferings around the world. So why is it that Facebook seemingly chose France above other countries to show solidarity?
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After publishing a post about Facebook’s French flag filter, many in the TNW community were upset by the lack of similar support for Beirut, Baghdad, and any other cities. I even received a reader email hoping for a Nigerian flag filter to bring attention to the country’s fight against militant group Boko Haram. And I think they all bring up a valuable point.
At this time, if users wanted to create their own filter, they have to manually overlay their photo with an image of their choice.
Others, naturally, argue that the filters do little to provide any actionable change.
Still, if this little display can provide any bit of compassion for the victims, Facebook should allow users to create their own ‘Causes’ filter to stand for what they believe in.
Of course, it’s easy for this feature to be abused. After Facebook launched the rainbow filter in support of same sex marriage, many also begged for their own filter displaying the Confederate Flag.
Facebook clearly has a guideline for appropriate behavior on its site, so the same should be applied when accepting user-submitted photo filters. Or, at the very least, offer every country’s flags to show support or national pride as needed.
In a world where views continue to be oppositional, it’s difficult to make everyone happy. But by opening up the option for people to express their own views and treating all opinions fairly, Facebook could be the global community it claims to be.