'Pray for Brussels': What people were saying online after attacks

flag Image copyright Twitter

Tuesday's terrorism attacks in Brussels were met almost immediately with outpourings of emotion and displays of solidarity online.

The word "Brussels" in various languages dominated Twitter's list of top worldwide trends. Under the French word for the city - Bruxelles - the most widely shared image was one drawn by Plantu, a cartoonist for the French newspaper Le Monde. It explicitly linked the November attacks in Paris to Tuesday's bombings:

Image copyright Twitter / Le Monde

Plantu also drew one of the most widely shared images after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015.

"Pray for Belgium", "Pray for Brussels" and "Je Suis Bruxelles" were among the most popular Twitter slogans, all used tens of thousands of times in the hours after the attacks. A popular set of memes used adaptations of the famous Belgian cartoon character Tintin and many people posted images incorporating the black, yellow and red of the Belgian flag:

Image copyright Instagram / theanix1

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Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image caption "Thoughts for Brussels and all of Belgium"

Other tributes incorporated Brussels landmarks such as The Atomium - a huge building based on a model of an atom originally constructed for the 1958 World's Fair - and Manneken Pis, a famous statue of a urinating small boy.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption This tribute includes a drawing of the Atomium
Image copyright Twitter
Image caption "A little message for the terrorists"

Outside the city's stock exchange, people chalked messages on the pavement in an apparently spontaneous tribute to the victims:

Image copyright Twitter

Inside Belgium, a cluster of hashtags offering help including "Brussels lift", "open house", "ik wil helpen" ("I want to help") and "porte ouverte" ("open door") started trending as people offered assistance to those left stranded by the closing of the airport and the city's transport network. For further updates on the attacks, head to the BBC's live coverage page.

Blog by Mike Wendling

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