Wednesday afternoon I was working at putting the finishing touches on a guest lecture I was about to give on social media, and so I went looking for an up-to-date example. And here’s what I found….
Yes, that’s the official Twitter feed of the Israeli Army. And what did the spokesperson have to say?
Yup, Israel had started a major offensive against Hamas, a militant Palestinian group, and announced it using social media including Twitter and YouTube. For example, here’s the video that the IDF posted showing the killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari:
Of course, Hamas has had their own response through social media as well, such as a YouTube video apparently showing the launch of a missile targeted at Israel.
All this raises the question of what will our social media channels allow to be transmitted. For example, Twitter has previously censored tweets from Nazi sympathizers at the request of the German government. (Pro-Nazi material is not legal in Germany.)
Governments, opposition groups, rebels and terrorists have long used propaganda along with guns and bombs to fight their battles. Social media have now been added to the mix.