VentureBeat presents: AI Unleashed - An exclusive executive event for enterprise data leaders. Network and learn with industry peers. Learn More

As the Belgian city of Brussels prepared to enter its third day of lockdown, with police continuing the hunt for a terrorist suspected in connection with the Paris attacks 10 days ago, local Twitter users did what they do best — they shared photos and other observations with the world.

However, authorities asked users to stop sharing information, given that it could inadvertently help the suspect evade capture or target the police themselves. Then a truly bizarre and wonderful thing happened — the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag was taken over by users sharing cat photos. Twitter has a Moments Page dedicated to the event, which says:

“To prevent terrorists from following police activity, Belgian police asked residents not to share details of the #BrusselsLockdown via social media, civilians took over the hashtag and flooded it with pictures of their feline friends.”

Of course, it wasn’t just Belgians sharing their feline flicks — Twitter users from around the world got involved, sharing photoshopped images, videos, and hilarious GIFs.

Last week, we wrote about how Twitter was built for comedy; still, it’s amazing to see how the Internet maintains a sense of humor even during troubling times.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.