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Terrorist attack in Vienna leads to internet being filled with pictures of cats

black and white and grey tabby cat snuggle on bed cat-serious
© moivalerielp - Twitter

The terrorist attack in Vienna, which may have been organised by more than one criminal, has lead to hundreds of photos of cats being published on internet. But why?

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 04/11/2020, 09:30, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:24

When the terror attacks hit in Vienna, something strange started happening. 

People started sharing photos of cats, as they usually do in this kind of situation.

Support for Vienna

The purpose of this is twofold: firstly, to hide the horror of the attacks from the eyes of the public. In addition, this is a sign of respect towards the victims.

Secondly, posting these unrelated photos helps the police in their mission. Indeed, videos of the attacks could give precious information to any other potential attackers watching. They could discover in which way the police’s investigation is going and plan their escape route accordingly.

Cats in terror attacks

This is also what happened during the terror attacks in Strasbourg in 2018. People used a hashtag referring to the attacks when posting their cat photos, flooding social media with cats and kittens rather than pictures or information about the attacks. We must admit, we’d pick looking at kitties over anything else any day!

So if you wondered why there were so many pictures of cats on social media when you typed the hashtag #vienna or #viennaattack in the past couple of days, then wonder no more. People were just doing their jobs as responsible civilians. And we couldn’t be happier with that!