Friday, November 16, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
Launching a War on Twitter - Israeli Defence Forces Spokesperson
Modern war doesn't start with a rattled sabre or a shot across the bow. It comes as a warning of 140 characters or less.
On Wednesday night, Israeli Defence Forces sent out a Tweet it was launching an attack on Gaza. The military wing of Hamas tweeted right back.
The Israeli Defense Forces killed Ahmed Al-Jabari, leader of Hamas' military wing on Wednesday, and since then, 19 Palestinians - 5 of them children, and 3 Israelis have been killed. Israel keeps the online world up to date through the hashtag, #PillarOfDefence.
Palestinians and others are tweeting too. They say Israel is leaving out crucial information and context. And both sides seem to be in contravention of Twitter's rules: You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.
Avital Leibovic has been at the forefront of disseminating information on behalf of the Israeli Defense Force. She is a spokesperson whose tweets on behalf of the IDF are followed by a growing following of more than 100,000 users and are being watched closely by many more. She was in Tel Aviv.
Launching a War on Twitter - Journalist & co-founder of Electronic Intifada
Our next guest says there's a lot at stake in this war of words and he's challenging Israel's Twitter version of events.
Ali Abunimah is a Palestinian-American journalist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, a not-for-profit, independent online publication about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. His latest blog post, published yesterday, is called How Israel shattered Gaza truce leading to escalating death and tragedy: a timeline. Ali Abunimah was in Chicago this morning.
Launching a War on Twitter - Columbia University Chief Digital Officer
"This is Matthew Halton speaking to you from England. I came back this morning from France. France, where our assault formations are assured and now fighted like wildcats to hold the bridgeheads, to hold them against generals and German armies who know that in the next few days they either throw us into the sea or lose the war."
Matthew Halton was very circumspect when he tried to tell Canadians about the upheaval in Normandy during the early hours of the D-Day invasion.
Compare that guarded self-censorship to the torrent of tweets and social media posts on what's happening in Gaza. With more on the significance of these changes -- both for military campaigns and for audiences--we were joined by Sree Sreenivasan. He's Columbia University's first Chief Digital Officer. He teaches social and digital media at the school of journalism. He joined us from New York.
This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar, Sujata Berry and Ellen Saenger.
Other segment from today's show: