If Facebook were to provide a safety check button for Syria or Palestine or Kashmir it would need to be active every single day 24X7

Change your profile picture to support France and the people of Paris.


Try it, the button invigorates as if it’s a spicy pani-puri, one might be dying to taste.

I will not try it and I truly have no plans to try it, irrespective of the fact that I love pani-puri. It’s not because I doubt Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg cares more about building my customer profile than it does about a carnage in Paris. And also it’s not because a day before the attacks in Paris, Facebook had not offered to temporarily add the badge of Lebanon to my profile picture to mark the deaths in Beirut. Or that Baghdad and Palestine and Gaza and Kashmir and Kenya all went unscratched, with no options for those there to call themselves “safe”. All of that is true. Undoubtedly it seems that some deaths matter more than others as likely as some minorities get more reservation benefits in India.

No wonder why a doctor from Lebanon wrote “when my people died no country bothered to light up its landmarks in the colors of their flag, no safety check buttons were provided and no Facebook service offered for the Lebanese flag”.

Looking into the present scenario, if the people of this so-conscious world would be would be spreading out their dismay and shock and solidarity with an even hand, and then our profile pictures would be changing its complexions every single week to the flags of the countries, most of us don’t even know-Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and even India.


If Facebook were to provide a safety check button for Syria or Palestine or Kashmir it would need to be active every single day 24X7.

My Indian friends were busy converting their profile picture hued with French flags and they don’t even know if they were aware of what’s going on in Kashmir since years they would have had their profile picture hued with Indian flags for years.


I will not try French tri-color, as Facebook suggests me to do. There are plenty of things going on this planet and millions of people are killed every single day. Then why should I regret for the death of the people of Paris alone? Also changing profile pictures on Facebook doesn’t really means that I regret whatever happened in a part of this world. We never regretted for Rohingiyas this way. Why Paris?

There’s no point in shaming those who simply want to mourn Paris by bringing in Beirut when we can do nothing to shame those who actually visited the devastation about the cities.


-Sharjeel Usmani




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