I realize this may be controversial, but I’m gonna say it anyway:
I don’t think most people who have changed their profile picture to the French flag really care more about certain victims than others. Obviously changing a profile picture won’t make any real difference, but for one reason or another, people have felt the need to do it and I don’t think we should be giving them grief for it.
We’re all human beings with a heart (well, most of us, anyway) and I’m sure that the majority of us feel as upset by a death this side of the world as we do by one the other side of it.
The difference, in my opinion, is (apart from the massive difference in media coverage) that with the Paris attacks having been so close to home, there’s simply a stronger notion of “shit, that could have been me”, making people show what comes across as sympathy but is partially also some sort of relief that they were spared this time. And, on a similar note, it’s probably some subconscious feeling of “if we all mourn collectively this time, it means that we’ve also all been hit collectively and that makes us safe for the future. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, after all.”
Unfortunately, lightning does strike twice so the theory isn’t going to work. What we can learn, however, is that it’s important to watch out for and respect one another, irrespective of race, religion, nationality and other such silly concepts. We’re all human and should make the most of the time we get to share on this planet.