Someone sent me a message a couple of days ago saying they’d just watched the news and it had made them really angry.
I asked him what had happened and he said it was news from the ongoing war in Syria.
Have you visited TNW's hype-free blockchain and cryptocurrency news site yet?
It's called Hard Fork.
“I literally have no idea what we should be doing about it,” he said. Me neither, I thought.
We’ve never been able to see more up close images of war and yet it feels like we’re truly paralyzed.
Now #AleppoIsBurning is gathering pace on Twitter with people in the Middle East and beyond trying to #MakeFacebookRed, or even planning to boycott the platform, to draw attention to Syrian government air strikes in the country’s largest city Aleppo.
— Luna Watfa (@luna_alabdalla) April 28, 2016
— İyad el-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) May 1, 2016
Calls are being made for Facebook’s Safety Check to be enabled just as it was in Paris, or for the Syrian flag to be made into a filter so people can show their solidarity wherever they are.
But in November last year Facebook outlined its stance on a situation like Syria: “During an ongoing crisis, like war or epidemic, Safety Check in its current form is not that useful for people: because there isn’t a clear start or end point and, unfortunately, it’s impossible to know when someone is truly ‘safe.'”
Social media cannot solve a crisis like the six-year war in Syria that has killed some 400,000 people and displaced millions more. But our silence certainly won’t stop it either.