'WWIII' trends after Russian ambassador assassinated in Turkey

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After Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was assassinated while giving a speech at an art exhibition in Ankara on Monday, many people on social media compared the moment — and what could result from it — to a similar event that happened more than a century ago: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, which most historians cite as the beginning of World War I.

Ferdinand, of the Austria-Hungary empire, was in Sarajevo with his wife. They were sitting in a car when a Serbian nationalist shot them, killing them both. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government and declared war, which ultimately pitted Serbia and its allies, including Russia, France, and Great Britain, against Austria-Hungary and Germany.

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Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov killed in art gallery shooting
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Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov killed in art gallery shooting
FILE PHOTO - Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin (not seen), who disembarks from the Presidential aircraft at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (front C) poses with Russia's Ambassador to North Korea Andrei Gennadiyevich Karlov (front R) and other embassy members during a photo session at the Russian embassy in Pyongyang March 8, 2005, in this photo released in Tokyo March 11, 2005. Kim visited the Russian Embassy on Tuesday to receive a medal, presented to him on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Korea Central News Agency reported on Tuesday. JAPAN OUT REUTERS/Korea News Service IK/CN
FILE PHOTO: Andrei Gennadiyevich Karlov poses during a photo session at the Russian embassy in Pyongyang, North Korea, March 8, 2005, in this photo released in Tokyo March 11, 2005. JAPAN OUT REUTERS/Korea News Service/File Photo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ANKARA, TURKEY - (ARCHIVE) : A file photo dated November 30, 2016 shows Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov (C) during an exclusive interview in Ankara, Turkey. Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov has been shot multiple times at an exhibition in Ankara on December 19, 2016. Karlov was delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of a photo exhibit when an armed assailant opened fire on him. The envoy was seriously wounded and was taken to hospital immediately. (Photo by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An ambulance leaves the area near an art gallery where the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 19: Turkish police secure the area outside where the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot inside an art gallery on December 19, 2016, Turkey in Ankara. Russian foreign ministry confirmed the death of envoy Andrei Karlov in the attack at the gallery in the Turkish capital on Monday by a gunman shouting 'Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria'. (Photo by Erhan Ortac/Getty Images)
Pictured in this file image dated December 1, 2016 are Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russia's Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov at a meeting of the Russian-Turkish Joint Strategic Planning Group (JSPG) at the Rubi Platinum Hote in Alanya, Turkey. File Photo/Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 19: Signs direct traffic as Turkish police secure the area outside where the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot inside an art gallery on December 19, 2016, Turkey in Ankara. Russian foreign ministry confirmed the death of envoy Andrei Karlov in the attack at the gallery in the Turkish capital on Monday by a gunman shouting 'Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria'. (Photo by Erhan Ortac/Getty Images)
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According to a Vocativ analysis, in the hour after Karlov's murder, "world war" was tweeted 3,532 times, while "ww3" or "wwIII" was tweeted 3,423 times. "Ferdinand" was tweeted 4,238 times. Before the shooting, "Ferdinand" was tweeted just 144 times. By press time, "world war" had been tweeted more than 13,500 times on Monday.

Most of the tweets compared Karlov's murder to the Archduke's, and expressed fear that it could start WWIII.

The similarities, of course, are far from exact: A story on the site Slate said that while the "parallels are tempting," it was "especially unlikely" that Karlov's assassination would spark a war between Russia and Turkey that would encompass the rest of the world. Rather, Joshua Keating wrote, it "will provide a pretext for closer cooperation rather than conflict."

The post 'WWIII' Trends After Russian Ambassador Assassinated In Turkey appeared first on Vocativ.

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