Other than it being the lead story on BBC News of course.
What we did get to experience, was a torrent of people talking about how nobody carried about Pakistan. There was outrage. “How dare people not change their profile pictures to the Pakistani flag. How dare the media not demand that everyone change their profile picture to the Pakistani flag. No, we don’t care that the Metro published a guide on how to do it” yelled the mob, “people are ignoring this tragedy!”
This isn’t the first time such comments have been made. I regularly see items appearing in my news feed comparing the attention that news items in the West get vs news items in the East. It is a constant series of points scoring against each other as to who can be seen to care the most.
I suspect that the truth is that many people in Britain, including myself, do care more about a bombing in Paris than a bombing in Lahore. There are good reasons why:
- A bombing in Paris is a lot closer to me. If they can bomb Paris, they can bomb Leeds. Many of the people I care about most in the world are in Leeds.
- Paris is close by. I have visited it and I have friends that visit it. It is far more likely that a bombing in Paris will affect someone I know.
- The attack on Charlie Hebdo was a direct attack on values that that I care deeply about and am actively involved with.
I do not think that that lives of the people I love and care about the most are objectively more important than the lives of people in Lahore. However, like all human beings, I do care more about my friends and relatives than I do about people I do not know.
I did not add a French flag to my profile picture last year. I have no plans to add a Pakistani flag to my profile picture this year. If you are doing both, then great, I am glad some awareness of both of these tragedies is being maintained. However, surely we all have better, more productive things to do than score points off each other as to who is demonstrating their outrage in correctly proportioned amounts.