After the tragic terror attack in Brussels in which at least 30 were killed and some 200 or more injured, the hashtag #StopIslam began trending on Twitter.
Part of the reason is that ISIS, the militant Islamic group wreaking havoc in the Middle East, took credit for the attack.
#stopIslam it hasn't stop for 1400 years and it will never stop
— thunder△⃒⃘ (@8hes8) March 22, 2016
And on it goes.
After the hashtag began trending, however, something happened. According to some, Twitter began to manipulate things…
We thought this was interesting, so we conducted an experiment. We tried searching for StopIslam to see what would happen. Sure enough, even after typing all but the last letter, this was the result:
You’ll notice that even though #StopIslam was listed as a trending topic, Twitter’s autocomplete doesn’t show the hashtag by itself. It does, however, show #StopIslamophobia…
Here’s what was trending as of this writing:
Naturally, a number of people began tweeting very similar messages — almost as if they were following a script:
I'm a Muslim, if I do something wrong, blame me not my religion. #StopIslam ? NO stop terrorism, that's the thing that should be stopped.
— Abdurrahim KAYA (@abdrhmky) March 22, 2016
— Kerem Cevahir (@Kerem_Cevahir) March 22, 2016
I’m a Muslim, Islam is perfect but I am not. If I make a mistake, blame it on me, not on my religion. Peace ✌ #StopIslam
— Faizan (@Faizan_virgo) March 22, 2016
— Shaheer Khan (@shaheerk779) March 22, 2016
There were a few variations of the same message, but not many. Some even tossed out the race card:
Don't think it's right that in today's society people think it's ok to make such racist comments and get away with it disgusting #StopIslam
— Alex N (@__AlexN_) March 22, 2016
— Fatmanur (@fatmanuryy) March 22, 2016
Last I looked, Islam is a religion, not a race.
It’s not the first time such a hashtag began trending after a terror attack like the one in Brussels. After the January 2015 terror attack in Paris, many on Twitter called for a ban on Islam.
Now we have to worry about how long it will take social media sites to censor articles that mention Islam in any capacity.
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