The Je Suis Charlie App Helped Me Show My Support, And Now It's Your Turn

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, people from all over have showed their support for the French satirical newspaper with the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie. Now there's another way of showing solidarity. Apple CEO Tim Cook just approved the Je Suis Charlie app, immediately fast-tracking it after receiving an email from the developers. The app allows users to declare "je suis Charlie" while listing their location on a world map, emphasizing the worldwide support for the newspaper, and by extension, free speech.

The Je Suis Charlie app was created by French news agency Nice-Matin, who emailed Cook directly about their product. Just 10 minutes later, Nice-Matin received an email response from one of Cook's assistants. And just an hour after the developers sent their email, the Je Suis Charlie app was in Apple's app store. According to appreviewtimes.com, the average app takes about 10 days to be approved for the iOS app store and nine days for the Mac app store.

The declarative statement "Je Suis Charlie" ("I Am Charlie") has become a powerful slogan in the days after the terrorist attack that killed 12 people. Saying "je suis Charlie" at once pays tribute to the victims of the shooting and symbolizes one's fight for freedom of expression. By the end of last week, the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag had become one of the most popular in Twitter history, after users posted 3.4 million tweets in the first 24 hours.

The Je Suis Charlie app's description states:

Because "Je suis Charlie" has become the symbol of freedom of speech whatever your beliefs, your country and your opinions, download the "I am Charlie" app and simply state where you stand on today's world map.

I downloaded the free app, which I found beautifully simple and poignant in the far-reaching impact it signifies, much like the slogan itself.

All you have to do is download the app, and it'll automatically generate your location on the world map. A black and white icon of a pencil pops up to represent you and your support.

Viewing the map, it's impressive to see how many pencils there are all over the globe. The most concentrated areas of supporters are in Europe and the U.S., but there are also advocates in Asia, South America, Australia, and the Middle East. Right now, there around 128,000 "Charlies" (app users) in the world.

The fast-tracking of the app makes sense, as Apple has been vocal in its support of Charlie Hebdo and its victims. The tech company posted a black "Je Suis Charlie" banner on the homepage of its French site, Apple.fr, right after the January 7 attack.

Images: Je Suis Charlie app, Screenshot/Mashable