Israel Launches Blog and Twitter Assault on Gaza

This is a corrected post.

As a blogging enthusiast, I was still astounded that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) made the first announcement of its strike on Gaza on its WordPress blog and Twitter accounts.

Bypassing the Media

Its blog and tweets enabled Israel to take control of its message, bypassing traditional media. As I’ve written before, that is why it’s essential for every organization to have a blog. You become the publisher. You own and manage the content

Mainstream media quickly picked up on this extraordinary development and Gaza supporters soon took to the social media airwaves with their side of the story.

This morning, I tried to unsuccessfully access the IDF blog for an update but wasn’t able to. The site is no doubt being bombarded by visitors.

History in the Making

The Israel-Gaza conflct is escalating and may lead to ground war, which would be tragic for each country. But it may be the first conflict where the public – and traditional media — gets the news first from each country via social media.

Here are screen shots I took yesterday when I could still access the IDF blog.

IDF blog

Israel Syria conflict

Israel Live Updates

Israeli Twitter image

Israeli Twitter image

Israel Twitter stream

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Comments

  1. That is truly amazing. I tried just now and was unable to access it as well. It does show the power of SM in a very striking way. You’re right, if a company isn’t blogging or engaged in the world of SM they will soon be left in the dust. 🙂

    • Susan — When you do get to visit their blog and Twitter account you will be impressed with the level of sophistication. They include live videos from the conflict, images and the ability to repost their material on your social networks. We know that insurgents in the Middle East have used Twitter campaigns but I think this is the first I’ve heard of a government taking to social media in such a powerful way. If effect, Israel is giving us a blow-by-blow of the conflict. Truly amazing, in my view.

  2. Yes it definitely shows the power of social media Jeannette.

    Did you know that they also posted a video of how they killed Ahmed al-Jabari on You Tube?

    Then they tweeted a warning to all of Jabari’s comrades: “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”

    Read more about how they are broadcasting their war on social media, read some tweets and watch the video on http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/11/idf-hamas-youtube/

    • Catarina — yes, I’m aware the Israelis are also posting videos to YouTube and tweeting directly to Hamas operatives. Extraordinary.

    • Catarina — an extension of the cyberwar that is now becoming commonplace on the Internet. Fighting now takes place in the air, on the ground and in cyberspace.

  3. Personally really like social media. Truly wish this kind of development had not taken place. Watching targeted killings is not something that will benefit mankind. The fact that it’s posted on You Tube that a lot of kids love to play with makes it even worse.

    What’s going on actually violates the terms of service of the big social networks.

    Twitter users, for example, are not allowed “post direct, specific threats of violence against others.” Hopefully, using social media this way will swiftly be declared illegal and what’s posted will be removed.

    • Catarina – I agree that I don’t want to watch videos of killings. However, in the U.S. our Constitution provides for freedom of speech which allows for distasteful speech, no matter the forum. It’s consider so vital to our way of life that we often have to endure images and words that repulse us but we also know that once you start cracking down on offensive language before you know it people will try to stop political points of views that differ from theirs. That’s the trade off.

  4. Jeannette, the United States and Canada accounts for only 5.5 % of the world’s population. If you cannot be spared, my hope is that the rest of the world will make it illegal to publish this kind of videos.

    Remember when the video of Saddam Hussein being hanged made children in India kill themselves. It’s one thing if grown ups like you and me watch such videos but children watching can have fatal consequences.

    And all this to assertain who wins the next election in Israel.

  5. I am equally astounded that the Israeli defence force used the social media – guess it does have a vast reach and they tapped into it. To an extent I agree with Catarina’s comments. Further social networks can be more prone to misuse, they could be hacked into and wrong messages could be spread.
    Recently India banned a few twitter accounts and YouTube accounts (misleading information was causing communal strife). The footage of some people being tortured was not related to India and it was being spread to show that some Indians of a particular community were being tortured. Irnonically, a few twitter accounts which were not being misused were also blocked in the process.

    • Lubna — Your last sentence is at the heart of the argument over censorship. Even the good guys get censored. I find a lot of commentary on the Internet to be offensive, but I’d rather that than a creeping censorship that gradually obliterates differing points of view.