The Weekly Trends Roundup: When a child becomes the symbol of a crisis
We’re here once again for our weekly roundup of the trending stories that have kept the internet busy for the past few days.
Five-year-old Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh stirred up the internet after heartbreaking footage of him sitting near a first aid kit with his face and body covered in blood and dust in the aftermath of an airstrike in Aleppo went viral on social media. The boy was pictured as the ultimate symbol of Aleppo’s suffering by the New York Times, and his picture prompted the rise of the hashtag #PrayForSyria in solidarity with the Syrian people.
American competitive swimmer Ryan Lochte has claimed that he and three of his teammates were robbed last Sunday in Rio on their way back to the Olympic village. The alleged robbery made headlines worldwide following the claim, but it turned out that Lochte’s story did not quite add up, according to the Brazilian police who found evidence suggesting that the U.S. swimmer was actually lying about the whole armed robbery incident. This eventually led to a Twitter meltdown illustrated through hashtags like #LochteGate and #RyanLochte. Brazilian authorities proceeded to remove two U.S. swimmers from their flight home Wednesday after suspecting they were involved in Lochte’s story (while Lochte himself was already back in the U.S.) and the U.S. Olympic committee ultimately issued an apology for the four swimmers’ behavior.
If you’re wondering why we’ve listed these hashtags jointly, you’ll have to wait until you read the full story that has kept the internet on the edge for two days straight. Quite basically, Canadian popstar Justin Bieber announced in an Instagram post earlier this week that he might make his account private after receiving tons of hate messages from fans about his new girlfriend Sophia Richie. This seemed like some pretty regular celebrity drama until Bieber’s former girlfriend Selena Gomez jumped in to defend his fans by commenting on the picture. “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol - it should be special between you two only,” her comment read, sparking a couple of replies from her ex and a full-fledged celebration from her fans on Twitter under the hashtag #SelenaEndedJustinParty. But it seems like Bieber could not handle all the backlash and deactivated his Instagram as of Aug. 16, leading to the birth of yet another Twitter party under the hashtag #JustinDeactivatedParty. Long story short: Twitter witnessed too many parties for one week.
Transgender Turkish LGBT activist Hande Kadere was found dead last week after being raped and set on fire. The 22-year-old’s burned and mutilated body was identified on Aug. 12 in the Istanbul neighborhood of Zekeriyaköy. In the week following her death, people took to Twitter to call for justice and express their indignation against hate crimes by participating in the hashtag #HandeKadereSesVer which translates roughly to “give Hande Kadere voice.” The hashtag subsequently became widely trending on Twitter and among the LGBT community in particular, as Twitter users took to the platform to condemn discrimination against transgender people in Turkey.