WASHINGTON - Signs of solidarity after the attacks in Paris became visible on social media almost immediately following news reports.
One of the most popular tributes is the "Peace For Paris" logo by artist Jean Jullien. Many Facebook users have also added photo filters of the French flag to their profile picture.
But some say posting these images is narcissistic rather than a way to show support?
"I think that everyone after a tragedy like this wants to show their support in some way, shape or form - be it a hashtag, or be it posting a beautiful but simple image on their profile photo," said Doctor Jay Singh, CEO of Global Institute of Forensic Research.
Singh said responding to these types of tragedies by following the group is a natural reaction. "In terms of social behavior, this is one of these things where we're all kind of part of a group. When it comes to social media, this is almost a global in-group, a global community. So because of that, it certainly is the case all of us want to seem like we're part of the club as it were."
Hopefully, most social media users are genuinely compassionate about the message, he said. However, it is possible that some may just not want to be left out. “Not participating doesn’t mean a person doesn’t care. It’s not that I don’t care, at the end of the day is simply something where that wasn't a response that I personally felt,” he said.
"There's always a big backlash here. The funny thing is, for some people, they're way of showing support is actually - instead of showing support in a positive way, is basically trying to beat down other people who have perhaps a negative perception of something," Singh continued.
Singh also points out that while most social media site are free, many use information gathered by users during incidents like this to track behavior.