Ethics In Tech

Social media accounts linked to the enigmatic street artist Banksy posted a touching tribute to the 12 people killed by Islamist terrorists in Paris on Wednesday.

Hours after the three gunmen massacred 10 staff members of the controversial satire magazine Charlie Hebdo and two police officers near the Bastille monument in the French capital, the Banksy Instagram account posted an RIP tribute to the terrorism victims.

Although the identity of the account holder has not been confirmed, it has long been assumed to belong to the famous artist and the script in the drawing matches his handwriting. The simple yet poignant drawing depicts a whole pencil with the caption yesterday, atop the pencil broken in half captioned today, followed by both halves as functioning pencils with the caption tomorrow.

The drawing soon went viral on Facebook and Twitter as well, where many users noted similarities between the drawing attributed to Banksy and earlier cartoon drawings posted by other artists.

If that really is a Banksy offering, then he has nabbed the idea wholesale from a cartoon I saw earlier this afternoon. Just THIEVED it, tweeted computer repairman Aaron Abernethy from Carryduff, Northern Ireland.

Cartoonists and other artists from all over the world have been posting tributes on social media in the wake of the Paris tragedy. Many Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users also reposted many of Charlie Hebdo’s controversial cartoons mocking Islam (and other religions) and depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed, which is strictly forbidden in that religion.

The Huffington Post reports some media are self-censoring, however, with the Associated Press, CNN, New York Daily News and Britain’s The Telegraph among the major corporate mainstream media outlets which have refused to show Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

Many people around the world also paid tribute to the Paris victims with social media posts with a #JeSuisCharlie (I am Charlie) theme.

You can kill journalists, cartoonists. You can’t kill the freedom of the press. You have only made their message stronger. #JeSuisCharlie, tweeted writer Emily Koch from Bristol, England.

Meanwhile, Mashable reports a small number of Twitter users posted messages applauding the terrorists and warning that such attacks are the price to pay for insulting Islam.


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