If it were not clear already, Twitter is more than a way to share what you eat in a 140 characters. Now, a Twitter war may result in a physical war.
On Wednesday, November 14, the IDF or Israel Defense Forces official Twitter account received a great deal of attention after it tweeted a threat to Hamas operatives just before a strike in Gaza. The strike included taking out Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari, and it was evidently filmed. Later on Wednesday a video was uploaded to YouTube (now taken down due to their terms of service) and tweeted, which supposedly depicted the end of Jabari.
This particular issue is a bit of a sore spot for me based on my upbringing; however, there are some objective pieces of information we can pull from the recent and ongoing messages being shared from the @IDFSpokesperson Twitter account.
Twitter War Launched
All options are on the table. If necessary, the IDF is ready to initiate a ground operation in Gaza.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) November 14, 2012
Though not a declaration of war, Israel is has begun a communication campaign to control the way messages are delivered. Quite simply, this is propaganda.
As more people adopt social media to communicate, to find the most current information surrounding them, people and organizations will take advantage of this to control their environment.
In history we have seen many instances similar to this, notably of course was that of the Vietnamese radio broadcaster Hanoi Hannah. She delivered an English broadcast to North Vietnam that was directed at US troops. The broadcasts were designed to invoke an emotional response, whether that be fear or confusion about why they were there.
Currently the @IDFSpokesperson Twitter account is rallying support through social media, and trying to clear the air about why fighting is occurring.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) November 15, 2012
As a result of Israel’s adoption of Twitter, their counterpart has done so as well. Though not yet confirmed as official, it would seem the @AlqassamBrigade account represents Al Qassam Brigades in Palestine.
— Alqassam Brigades (@AlqassamBrigade) November 15, 2012
Both sides are now delivering their sides of the fight in a 140 characters or less, and this will likely only be the start. As of now, it would seem that the @AlqassamBrigade is mostly just reinforcing that they are instigating (my opinion). Will we perhaps see the US military take social media based jabs at terrorists or opposing forces on an official level? That remains to be seen (some information does get shared, but not in such a stream as this example), but one thing is certain that we will see a virtual anti-war response campaign in the near future.