A Propaganda War Heats Up On The Internet As Israel's Attacks Continue In Gaza

Social media has had a rude awakening this week. Being party to a revolution—peaceful or otherwise—is one thing. Civil war is another. But a conflict between two countries—or, to be exact, one country and one hotly disputed territory, is something else—as Twitter is discovering.

Both sides in the current Gaza conflict are using the Internet as a weapon, although the IDF is taking the propaganda war to almost every conceivable network. It's currently on Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and Pinterest, with some of its soldiers having separate Facebook accounts. If, however, you want to put a sham-glam fake patina on the situation, try browsing through the Instagram photos from IDF soldiers.

Threats are not allowed in either Twitter or Facebook's terms of service, as a post on AllThingsD points out. It's hard not to see statements from one side suggesting that Hamas operatives lie low, and the other side suggesting their opponents open "Hell Gates" on themselves, as a threat.

As Twitter becomes bloodier by the minute, with gruesome photos of the dead and injured being posted online, the firm's bosses are caught between the rock of freedom of speech and the hard place of threatening behavior and incitements to violence. It cannot be much fun to be in their shoes right now. Yesterday, there were reports that the @IDFspokesperson account had been suspended for 40 minutes, but Twitter refused to confirm or deny it.

One thing is for sure, however. This is about as anti-social as social media gets.

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  • Zippy Zeppoli

    Writer of article: Hamas attacked Israel. Your title makes it sound one sided like Israel is the aggressor. Israel isn't a terrorist group firing rockets on civilians. As far as them using social media to further their cause, well, good for them. They should be quashing one-sided third-rate "journalism" in their defense.

  • Irisydsn

    so upset. Hamas attacks Israel and runs an anti-Israeli propaganda for years now -especially on youtube with those dead children in their arms covered in blood. why don't you write about that? with photoshoped photos and fake scenarios with so many mistakes that you have to be completely blind not to notice. THAT'S using internet as a weapon. shame on FC for publishing such a bias coverage. 

  • andyhelm

    The title of this article is totally incorrect. A more accurate headline would read "a propaganda war heats up on the Internet as Middle East tensions escalate"

    It is Hamas that initially attacked Israel with hundreds of rockets. Yes, that is correct... There is not a nation on earth that would not try to defend its citizens from an attack like this. The title makes it sound like Israel is the aggressor, when they are clearly not.

    If I didn't know any better, it would seem as if the author has ironically fallen for the Hamas propaganda that is the topic of the article. Although another scenario may be that an editor has hijacked the lead title and overruled the author. In that case, the editor has an obvious ax to grind.

  • Greek Olives

    ".. like Israel is the aggressor". No. Israel is an occupier. Boldly controlling water, electricity, food supplies and more in this modern era.

    Sad to see innocent people dying and suffering on both the sides.

  • Throckmortonforever

    Really? Israel currently occupies gaza? You must know something the rest of the world doesn't, since Israel pulled out some tome ago.