#AleppoIsBurning: Calls to boycott Facebook
Users vow to deactivate accounts or turn profile photos red to draw attention to hundreds of deaths in Syria’s Aleppo.
Thousands of social media users have pledged to deactivate their Facebook accounts, or to turn their profile photos red, in an effort to draw attention to the Syrian government’s air offensive in Aleppo.
The hashtags #MakeFacebookRed and #AleppoIsBurning were being used to highlight the ongoing offensive, which has killed more than 240 people over the past week and forced many families to flee.
This is what helplessness truly looks like; when the most you could do is deactivate your Facebook account. #AleppoIsBurning
— Maram (@Maram3adel) April 30, 2016
Facebook has come under criticism for failing to initiate a Safety Check for Aleppo – an online tool that was utilised in the aftermath of the recent Paris and Brussels attacks, allowing users to notify their friends that they were safe.
Facebook did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Al Jazeera as to whether this tool would be rolled out for Syrians in the future. In a statement responding to previous criticisms, however, the social media giant said that “during an ongoing crisis, like war or epidemic, Safety Check in its current form is not that useful for people: because there isn’t a clear start or end point and, unfortunately, it’s impossible to know when someone is truly ‘safe’.”
A message to @facebook , why don't we have a safety check for Aleppo to know about our beloved once and friends if they're safe? #Aleppo
— Latif. (عبداللطيف ) (@latif_syr) April 30, 2016
The Syrian opposition has condemned the recent bombings in Aleppo, which have also damaged several medical facilities and residential areas, as ” war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
Syria’s civil war, which is now in its sixth year, has killed an estimated 400,000 people and displaced millions. Another round of peace talks is set to begin in Geneva later this month.
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