#RoomforManchester — A Recurring Trend

Local residents opened their doors for stranded concertgoers in Manchester, United Kingdom following the attack which killed 22 at an Ariana Grande concert at approximately 10:35pm Monday night. The majority of victims named so far have been minors, with the youngest being an eight-year-old girl.

Those reaching out to concertgoers online, using #RoomforManchester on Twitter did not merely offer refuge from the uncertain and tense situation outside. Many, including actor Eamon Gannon, offered stranded pedestrians food and drink. Most importantly, perhaps, they provided the opportunity for members of the young crowd to charge their phones and let friends or relatives know they were safe.

Through Monday night and well into Tuesday, pictures of beaming children and young adults flooded Twitter feeds as families and friends of concertgoers posted pleas for news of their loved ones. Unfortunately, a growing number of said pictures later made world headlines as the attack’s victims began to be identified.

It has become clear, however, that Twitter played a large role in confirming the safety of a number of concertgoers, such as Heather, pictured below.

#RoomforManchester is reminiscent of the #PorteOuverte (#DoorOpen) trend that emerged following the series of coordinated attacks in Paris in November 2015, in which 130 people were killed. While the number of people who accepted the offers of online Manchesterians has yet to emerge, #PorteOuverte was highly effective in 2015 and may well have saved lives in Paris, especially given the length and scale of those attacks, which were only confirmed to have ended many hours after they began.

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