By Georgianna Reilly, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer
One need only to read any newspaper or news website to find that Israel and Gaza are at the brink of war after an air strike against Hamas leaders that killed one of the main leaders. Adding to the war in Syria this is not a pretty picture for the Middle East, or the world for that matter. But, was can now go beyond the boarders of countries, and has entered the world of social media. This was the case back in the Egyptian conflicts as well, but social media and the internet seem to be taking on a whole new form in this set of recent conflicts.
CNN describes that before the strike, the Israel Defense Force live tweeted the attack in what has been called ” the most meaningful change in our consumption of war in over 20 years” by BuzzFeed. Hamas of course has been responding with their own live tweets. Sharing news of strikes and attacks is nothing new, but the platform is:
“”Armies and militaries and governments have done this kind of thing with radio broadcasts and whatever tools they have at their disposal,” said Mathew Ingram, a senior writer for the tech site GigaOm. “What changes it is the reach and the speed” of the messages in the social media age. “Twitter and Facebook haven’t reinvented communications, but they sure have changed it in some pretty important ways.”
In addition, it appears that the group ANONYMOUS has used social media and the web to put pressure on Israel to stop the attacks. In an OpIsrael campaign launched over night, the group took down Israel sights and dispersed information as well as threats after Israel threatened to take down internet communication in the Gaza Strip. They have produced a packet of information on alternate communication for Gaza residence in case this happens. Interestingly, this article also discusses the use of badges and ranking systems on Israel’s Defense Force website. This allows users to gain awards for interacting with the website and its contents.
Social Media and the Internet are surly changing the face of war. They are making it live beyond boarders, adding additional layers of battle ground and in some cases creating a game beyond the true war itself. It will be interesting to see how this particular conflict pans out, and how social media comes to play a role in future conflicts.
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