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Israel And Hamas Battle… On Twitter

Submitted by on November 15, 2012 – 10:37 amOne Comment

The escalating violence in Israel and Gaza this week has a new front: Twitter. Official accounts for both the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas are tweeting steady streams of news, video, and public relations statements about ongoing military strikes, and occasionally address each other directly.

PopSci explains how the site has become another media outlet, even in the middle of a battle zone:

The Israeli Defense Forces has a spokesperson, and that spokesperson has a Twitter feed, and that Twitter feed is where information from the Israelis is being disseminated.It’s a mix of news (“The IDF has seriously damaged Hamas’ long-range missile capabilities (40 km/25 mi range) & underground weapons storage facilities.”) and argument in favor of the strike (“Israelis living near the #Gaza Strip have been living under fire for the past 12 years.”). It’s run extremely blandly and competently… It hits all the right notes: hashtags, links to videos andarticles, original photos.

News and updates from the front lines is nothing new, but it is bizarre to read them in such real time- and on a website normally reserved for one-line jokes and photos of lunch. Also, the seriousness of the tweets does not stop Twitter users from responding with a casual “lol” or similar comment.

Even more strange: this isn’t the first time forces in conflict have exchanged words on Twitter. Last year, a Twitter account for the American-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) of Afghanistan exchanged messages with a Taliban Twitter account after a gun battle.



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