#JeSuisCharlie: Social media reacts to Charlie Hebdo massacre

Reuters / Marcos Brindicci
​The news that three masked gunmen stormed the office of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and killed 12 people has shaken the world, sparking a massive response on social media.

In addition to the 12 killed, another 11 people have been injured – four of whom are reportedly in critical condition.

In response, people around the world have rallied to show solidarity with the victims and condemn the brutal violence. At the same time, various debates over the proper way to respond to the tragedy have also cropped up.

Responses began with the trending hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, which translates from French to English as “I am Charlie.”

Numerous cartoonists and journalists also seized on the words of Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Biard, who was in London at the time of the attack. He said: "I don't understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. A newspaper is not a weapon of war."

As a result, many artists played off of his words, depicting the apparent power of the pen.

Others, meanwhile, connected the shooting to past terror attacks.

Political cartoonist Carlos Latuff noted that the acts of the gunmen, apparently Muslims who shouted “Allahu Akbar” during their rampage, are actually defiling Islam itself.

Regarding Islam, debates broke out over the internet over the consequences of the shooting. Some claimed the violence will strengthen critics of the religion moving forward, while others said it will serve to increase Islamophobia around the world.

One hashtag that popped up over the course of the day was “#KillAllMuslims,” but it was soon overtaken by people responding to that trend with disgust or by satirizing the sentiment in their own way.

Media critics were also out in force on Wednesday, as many called on newspapers and other outlets to post the controversial cartoons originally published by Charlie Hebdo. Some readers in the UK called the newspapers “cowardly” for declining to do so. However, some outlets in Germany ran the cartoons on their front pages, uncensored.

Despite Charlie Hebdo’s affinity for skewering religions of all kind, some cartoonists emphasized a more spiritual angle in their tweets.