This week, the world was shocked and saddened by the attacks on journalists at the satirical Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed, eight of them journalists.
The tech giants have come out to show their support for the magazine and free speech. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted this to his page:
Other tech titans have also shown support for the French magazine. Google has also pledged to donate nearly $300,000 via the Digital Press Fund to support Charlie Hebdo. Workers at the magazine have said they will publish next week with a print run of 1 million copies. Additionally, Apple is showing its support by including the banner “Je Suis Charlie (I am Charlie)” on its French homepage.
In what reporters are calling one of the most “dramatic” police hunts in Paris’ history, police killed two suspected gunmen in the attack, according to this report by ABC News. Hashtags showing support for the hostages and honoring victims of the attacks are trending worldwide, with #CharlieHebdo and #JeSuisCharlie topping Twitter’s trends in the U.S.
The outpouring of support for free speech from the Western world comes alongside news this cruel and unusual punishment. The public flogging of a Saudi blogger who criticized Islam is also making world news. Raif Badawi, the creator of the site Free Saudi Liberals, was publicly flogged “50 times over 15 minutes,” according to NPR. Amnesty International reports that his punishment will continue with “50 lashes each week for 20 weeks.”
It’s heartening to see this outpouring of support for freedom of the press and ideas, but also an important reminder of how much work is yet to be done on a global scale.