The recent battle in Gaza between Israel and Hamas wasn’t only fought with bullets, bombs, and missiles, but also with keystrokes.
Observers say that through Facebook, YouTube, and other Web-based applications, the online community participated in shaping
the news, and was enlisted in the effort to influence public opinion in an unprecedented ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and sometimes worrisome ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ way.
The online war over Gaza was relentless. Hackers on both sides worked to deface websites, with one attack successfully redirecting
traffic from several high-profile Israeli websites to a page featuring anti-Israel messages. Facebook groups supporting the
opposing sides were quickly created and soon had hundreds of thousands of members.
Yes, the social media aspect is new this time around. But the use of defacement is not. Defacement and denial of service were common during the 2000 “cyber-intifada.” – post by TransTracker
The country’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, working together with the Foreign Ministry’s public relations department,
has also announced that it is looking for a multilingual “army of bloggers” to help in the aftermath of the Gaza operation.
“The blogosphere and new media are another war zone. We have to be relevant there,” the head of the IDF’s Foreign Press branch,
Maj. Avital Leibovich, recently told The Jerusalem Post.
“We’ve been seeing the rise of what I refer to as citizen propaganda,” says Ethan Zuckerman, a research fellow at the Berkman
Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, who observed a similar online information battle during last summer’s
conflict between Russia and Georgia.
Again, the scale and use of social media are new; the bandwagon effect is not. We also saw that during the 2000 cyber-intifada. – post by TransTracker
From afar, it seemed like a well-crafted propaganda plan, plotted out long in advance. Turns out Israel’s three-phased push to shape the images coming out of the Gaza war had a healthy dose of improvisation and happy accident, too.