After Paris Shootings, Parisians Use Hashtag to Offer Shelter
After explosions and gunfire terrorized Paris Friday night, police are reporting as many as 60 killed, with more hostages held inside the Bataclan theater, where the American band Eagles of Death Metal was playing. The death count is still in flux, however, as the violence continues across the city.
Multiple locations are being targeted in the attacks, and reports paint a chaotic picture as the violence continues. As the internet and social outlets attempt to make sense of the tragedy, one very important hashtag has surfaced: #porteouverte. Parisians are using the hashtag on Twitter to signal they need a safe place to go, or can provide it to people on the street. Most of the messages can be interpreted as “I’m home, in this area, contact me if you need a place to go.”
Si vous êtes dans le 19eme, #porteouverte et DM
— Julia Lagrée (@jlagree) November 13, 2015
#porteouverte send me a message for a safe place in canal Saint Martin. Please be safe
— Florian Duretz (@duretzflo) November 13, 2015
There’s a problem, though: The hashtag is being overwhelmed by people tweeting about how to use it, and how inspiring it is… which is pushing messages down the stream that are actually advertising or asking for a place to go. If you’re looking for or offering a safe location, use the hashtag—otherwise, you could be doing more harm than good.