Paris Attacks shared through Periscope app updates


Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

The attacks in Paris will not be forgotten. It was another tragedy which shook the world once again– left many dead– but even more in shock and awaiting the aftermath. During the attacks, while the hectic craze of bombs and shootings were occurring, students at Southern over 3,000 miles away were getting their news through friends overseas or media outlets on the web or television.

However, while students here and elsewhere in the world were watching news updates about what was going on, so many more people were living through the terror. While media outlets and reporting are able to cover the situation, there are also those brave civilians who take it upon themselves to keep their family and by proxy the world updated with on-the-ground updates.

With the rising waves of personal recording technologies such as GoPro cameras, it becomes much easier to record the events of your life. However, it cannot be shared as easily as a photo or video on a phone can. With current phone technologies it becomes much easier to share and report information and visuals in our day-to-day world. Many apps such as Periscope are designed for the purpose of witnessing the world through another person’s experience.

What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia?” saids Periscope’s website. “While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.”

During the Paris attacks, there were instances where citizens of Paris were using the app to show what was going on, and by this token creating what is known as citizen journalism. This however is not so foreign of a concept in the American journalistic world.

Many recent instances in United States news typically take the form of bystanders videotaping violence witnessed. One such recent incident was when a police officer at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was videotaped arresting and pulling a student physically out of their seat.

However, while apps like Periscope, and the more popular Snapchat and Instagram, are used in sharing video and photos, only Instagram and the social media outlet Facebook garnered much attention from the media.

Facebook is garnering major attention in the media recently due to the fact that many people took offense, as CBS News reporter Shannon Luibrand reports, to the double standard of Facebook’s “Safety Check-in” feature in regards to the focalization of violence in Paris when there was also violence in places like Beirut, Lebanon.

“While many were thankful for the feature after the Paris attacks, others pointed out the feature had not been turned on for other recent violence,” said Luibrand, “specifically, the twin suicide bombings on Thursday [12 November] that struck a southern Beirut suburb in Lebanon.”

In regards to Instagram, one of the most popular photo sharing applications on smartphones, the Fusion Network website details a litany of incidents where citizen reporters from Paris documented their time not only in the stadium after the bombing, but also on the streets during the shootouts.

Through the use of these applications and social media outlets, information is able to be transferred between multitudes of people nearly instantly. However, in participation of reporting this news, the report who could possibly be a civilian puts them at even greater risk of harm should what they are reporting is violent.

Photo Credit: Vivian Englund – Opinions Editor

HEADER PHOTO: Periscope App

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