At least 12 people are dead and many more injured after a terror attack in the heart of Barcelona.
And, as a police operation unfolded in the city, police requested people refrain from posting images and videos on social media networks.
In attempt to prevent information about officers’ operational movements finding its way to the attackers, police told Twitter users to “remain in safe areas and help the police. Do not spread images!”
Si estás en las #Ramblas evita transitar por la zona, permanece en zona segura y facilita el trabajo de la Policía. ¡NO difundas imágenes!
— Policía Nacional (@policia) August 17, 2017
As a result, social media users have started flooding the #Barcelona trending tag with images and videos of cats.
— Captain Janeway (@janeymachine) August 17, 2017
— Inactive bc (@ArwenLightwood) August 17, 2017
— Rafael Ruiz (@photometrico) August 17, 2017
Users did something similar during a lockdown in Brussels a few years ago.
After police successfully conducted raids and arrested 16 people, they thanked users:
“To all the cats who helped us last night: help yourselves! #BrusselsLockdown”
— alvarito:p (@AlvaroPascual4) August 17, 2017
Many Twitter users have also used images of cats to ensure any propaganda impact desired by the terrorists is lessened.
Others are doing it out of respect to the families of those killed.