Helene Dancer
Writer, journalist, filmmaker



What kind of power do cats have via social media? They seem to already own the internet... So what about fighting terrorism on Twitter? With these faces?

The terrorist attacks in Paris last November rocked the world. Shockwaves reverberated far and wide, not least in neighbouring Brussels, where the authorities instigated a lockdown to try and seek out the perpetrators. It was a deeply troubling time, which is why the barrage of cute pictures of cats on social networks under the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown may have come as a surprise.

The internet has always been partial to cats but this campaign wasn’t just about sharing lol pics of anthropomorphised felines. It began when the Brussels authorities requested that the public refrain from disclosing details about police activity on social media to make it harder for suspects to discover information about anti-terror measures. Some members of the public had tweeted details of a particular police operation that allegedly could have alerted suspects.

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