Let me start by offering condolences and support for the families, friends, and community of people who have lost so much in Newtown and beyond.
These acts are something we’ve had to contend with far too often. Many people ask:
What can I do to help the victims or to prevent these attacks?
Below are a few ways to use tech, social networking, and the blogging community to help.
1.) Set up and organize your own digital or physical vigil
After the Tucson attack, a few members of the community issued a call on social networks and blogs for a vigil. A huge community response and gatherings of remembrance across town were organized. There was such response these vigils were repeated and viewed across the nation. Citizens were connected and supported. Victims were honored and remembered,
Anthony Ameen lost a close friend and was wounded in Afghanistan trying to save him. Another Arizona community united through social networks. They set up a dedicated site for Anthony and his family to share their stories and requests with his massive network of support. It eventually led to his own charity foundation and outreach organization for other survivors.
Memories and support for victims of terror are now more important then ever. When you know the families are ready, tell your story, share your pictures, and preserve their memories with the tools at your disposal. Maybe even call for a community vigil.
2.) When you see or consider sharing graphics, media, and renditions of killers: Consider the victims and consider how you might be making the problem worse
Quietly dumping Bin Laden into the sea was one of the most well informed decisions in the war on terror to date. America didn’t trumpet images of his death and life. We honored the soldiers who quietly disposed of him and brought justice to victims of his terror.
Creating and sharing media might be exactly what past, present, and future terrorists want.
Sensationalization of the murderer and their story is part of why acts of terror are committed. These deranged killers should not be named, represented, or respected. (The image for this article demonstrates the memory I want of the recent murderer). Remember and respect the fallen and their families. Think about this when you post and share.
3.) Murderers and terrorists commit these atrocities for a reason: Post and share with that in mind
When terrorists attack our buildings killing innocent people, do we respond with a call for discussion on our way of life? Did we delve into the life stories of the 911 hijackers?
Absolutely not. Americans wiped the murders and their messages off the planet for good.
Domestic attacks and events surrounding them are being used by some as immediate calls for discussion. A frenzy of wild ideas is spreading as a result. This might be all the next murderer or terrorist needs to start planning their own attack. For all we know these ideas may have been part of the terrorist’s intent.
Any communication through acts of terror and death of the innocent must be silenced. If there is some debate, leave it until after there has been time to heal.
Bloggers, techies, social networks, and the community alike should do their part by keeping the politics and sensationalism out of murder and domestic terror. Fight back with vigils and floods of support and memory. Not memory of the murderer, but of the fallen. The victims, families, communities, and our way of life should not shoulder the blame for this or any such act of terror.
So when you share and link understand who you are blaming and who you helping to support.