Unlike the Paris attacks last November, Facebook has not enabled users to superimpose a Turkish flag over their profile picture in response to the Ankara bombings. In fact, Facebook outright refused to do so. Unsettlingly, Zuckerberg has the power to define what constitutes a tragedy worthy of being mourned on social media and it seems that the grieving families of Ankara do not fit the Eurocentric bill.
While the majority of those who placed the French flag overlay on their profile picture did so with only the best of intentions, selective mourning on social media perpetuates harmful narratives. By Facebook only endorsing the recognition of tragedy as it applies to white lives, it is taking part in reinforcing hundreds of years of white supremacy and imperialism.
Of course, no one who took part in the social media mourning of Paris was actively attempting to bolster these harmful societal ideals by prioritizing white lives and ignoring the suffering of others, this is simply about the outcome of actions taken and not the intention behind them.
When it comes down to it, Facebook is but another agent in shaping the narrative of whose lives matter, and if you do not stop to consider whose lives you value and why, you too are culpable in maintaining a cruel status quo.
Since 2003, half a million Iraqis have died without a Facebook flag or commemorative hashtag. And while during the Paris attacks the social media outpouring of grief was huge, there is no such grief expressed for Ankara.