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Israeli Military To Citizens: Don't Facebook, Tweet, Instagram Rocket-Hit Locations

Location metadata stored on Twitter and other social media are feared by Israeli officials to be assisting Hamas' efforts and counter-attacks.

Israeli authorities are warning citizens not to post the locations of rocket attacks or air raid sirens on social media. According to a post on the Israeli blog Yid With Lid, Israeli military contacts are telling Internet users not to post attack locations for fear Hamas and other organizations are using social media to triangulate their rocket launches. In press conferences and in media communications, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) usually use the euphemisms "open fields" and "populated areas" to describe the locations of rocket attacks.

Geotagging of posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram makes metadata describing the exact location of a user publicly available. GPS technology allows any outsider access to triangulation abilities that would have been a military secret even 10 years ago. For Hamas, the Israeli military, and other players, access to real-time GPS information on the ground via social media is an increasing reality.

No laws or regulations in Israel prevent Internet users from serving as citizen journalists and posting news on current events in their vicinity.

[Image: The Israel Project]

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