As it has in many recent global events, social media played a big role in mobilising local support and both international and local reaction after Friday’s attacks that left at least 128 dead.
As the tragedy unfolded, Paris police officials advised citizens to stay inside as French President François Hollande closed the nation’s borders and issued a state of emergency.
Soon after the attacks, Parisians launched the hashtag #PorteOuverte – which translates to #OpenDoor – to help stranded people find shelter.
The hashtag trended globally and within few hours of its creation, there were more than 40,000 tweets.
“This account will be used for tweeting and retweeting places to stay safe tonight,” said a post from @PorteOuverteFRA, a Twitter handle opened within hours of the attacks.
Many addresses and phone numbers were tweeted and the twitter handle was also retweeted the offers of accommodations from other individuals.
Anyone stuck around gare du nord area, si besoin #porteOuverte quartier Gare du Nord, peut loger 2-3 personnes
— Lara Plowright (@LaraPlowright) November 14, 2015
— Sarah (@lemaldelinfini) November 14, 2015
Many people felt that offering refuge showed compassion and humanity.
When people come together like they have on the #PorteOuverte hashtag it helps restore my faith in humanity on a day as horrible as today.
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— Iftekhar Ahad (@IftekharMUFC) November 13, 2015
But, some Twitter users also expressed concern over the hashtag saying that it was clogging the feed.
#PorteOuverte please stop tweeting under this hashtag telling them to look at it. It’s hard to find somewhere safe when you’re clogging it.
— a. (@almightypal) November 13, 2015
Others said that displaying home address and phone numbers might put people at risk.
— Jordan (@Jordan_Coombe) November 13, 2015
People used the hashtag and DM (Direct messgae) in their tweets to offer place to sleep. And surely, this gesture by Parisians has helped in showing a better side to humanity.
Facebook also rolled out ‘Safety Check’ in wake of Paris Attacks.
The social media giant customised its safety check feature to let users know whether their friends and loved ones are safe in Paris.