In a week highlighted by terror attacks in Sydney and Pakistan that left numerous unarmed civilians and children dead, a small piece of solace emerged on Twitter. After an unarmed gunman stormed a cafe in the city center of Sydney, Australia and raised an Islamic flag in the shop's window, many members of Australia's Muslim population feared retribution toward their community. Yet, these fears may have been assuaged, as Australians quickly reacted with "I'll Ride With You," a Twitter hashtag aimed at letting individuals identifying as Muslim know that they have committed allies when riding on public transportation. The hashtag erupted and for several hours remained as the number one global trend.
What do you think of the power of the hashtag? Can a tweet like "I'll Ride With You" combat Islamophobia? Can social media activism procure more equitable and just communities? Does empathy on the screen translate to the empathy off the screen?