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The Israel-Gaza Conflict:
 Social Media Become the Informational Front Line


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Week5 Global Net Activism

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The Israel-Gaza Conflict:
 Social Media Become the Informational Front Line

  1. 1. Global Internet Activism Week#5 The Israel-Gaza Conflict: Social Media Become the Informational Front Line Trebor Scholz | LCST 4014 A | Spring 2009
  2. 2. Political Activism, Advocacy, and Art Activism week 2 week 1 Access, Censorship, Social Media, and the week 3 Alleged Democratization Citizen Media: from of Society Seattle to South Korea War and Social Media: Serbia week 4 week 5 Social Media on the Informational Front Line: The Israel-Gaza Conflict week 6 Spring Break week 7 War and Social Media: Counter-publics Iran, Afghanistan in Iran week 8 week 9 Cell phone-enabled Citizen Media in China week 12 activism: Philippines Burma week 11 week 10 Japan, Singapore A Better World in Second Life? week 14 One Laptop Per Child week 13 Cyber Publics in India week 15 Mobilization Trebor Scholz | LCST 4014 A | Spring 2009
  3. 3. week 5 War and Social Media: Gaza Required Readings: Hans Magnus Enzensberger, quot;Constituents of a Theory of the Media,quot; John Thornton Caldwell, Electronic Media and Technoculture (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2000) 51-76. Trebor Scholz | LCST 4014 A | Spring 2009
  4. 4. You may have seen this...
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  7. 7. screen cast of:
  8. 8. Tom Segev, Israeli historian and columnist for Haaretz quot;Opinion is widely divided on the war in Gaza: are Israel’s military operations against Hamas justified actions of self defense or an abuse of military supremacy that violates human rights?quot;
  9. 9. The Gaza Strip (Arabic: ‫ ﻗﻄﺎﻉ ﻏﺰﺓ‬transliteration: Qiṭāʿ Ġazza/Qita' Ghazzah, Hebrew: ‫רצועת‬ ‫ עזה‬It is about 41 kilometers (25 mi) long, and between 6 and 12 kilometers wide. Egypt governed the Gaza Strip from 1948-67. Israel governed the Gaza Strip from 1967-2005. It has about 1.4 million Palestinian residents. Most are either refugees or descended from refugees of the Palestinian exodus.
  10. 10. screen cast of:
  11. 11. Discussion Pages on Wikipedia
  12. 12. “Please be neutral when editing this highly sensitive article.”
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  14. 14. Your Wiki Entry Counts quot;’American media has seen certain narratives form, and not just about Israel but about China, Iran and France,quot; he says. ‘We see the same stories being recycled over and over again in the mainstream media because it fits the narrative they'd created.’quot; “Wikipedia, Shankbone says, is different because it ‘covers everything’ - the Palestinian side, the Israeli side and everything in between.“ quot;’American media has seen certain narratives form, and not just about Israel but about China, Iran and France,’ he says. ‘We see the same stories being recycled over and over again in the mainstream media because it fits the narrative they'd created.’quot; He is unfazed when he hears that the entry on Israel mentions the word quot;occupationquot; nine times, whereas the entry on the Palestinian People mentions quot;terrorquot; only once. quot;It means only one thing: Israelis should be more active on Wikipedia. Instead of blaming it, they should go on the site much more, and try and change it.quot; David Shankbone (leading editor for the online encyclopedia Wikipedia)
  15. 15. With Media Locked out of the War Zone YouTube and Facebook Become the Information Front Line
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  17. 17. IDF VLOG UPDATE: Ground Forces Enter Gaza - Capt. Benjamin Rutland - 3 Jan. 2009
  18. 18. The latest news from Al Jazeera English on the violence in Gaza
  19. 19. YouTube channel of the Israel Defense Forces
  20. 20. “The Jerusalem Post quotes Maj. Avital Leibovich, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces' foreign press branch on the digital media campaign. quot;The blogosphere and new media are another war zone,quot; she says. quot;We have to be relevant there.quot;
  21. 21. quot;We hav 2 prtct R ctzens 2, only way fwd through neogtiations, & left Gaza in 05. y Hamas launch missiles not peace?quot; quot;We're not at war with the PAL people. we're at war with a group declared by the EU& US a terrorist orgquot; Israeli Consulate holds press conferences on Twitter
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  27. 27. 2/25/09 Bloggers
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  29. 29. AlJazeera’s Struggle for Broader Appeal
  30. 30. “This video shows an Israeli network anchor talking via cellphone to Palestinian doctor Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish, who gave frequent interviews to the Israeli media, weeping with grief just after the death of three daughters who died as collateral damage of Israel’s offensive.” The comment section on YouTube became a platform for abusive exchanges.
  31. 31. Raid Gaza! Editorial Games and Timeliness Tank you to Liz Losh for the reference!
  32. 32. Raid Gaza! Editorial Games Thank you to Liz Losh for the reference!
  33. 33. Tank you to Liz Losh for the reference!
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  35. 35. Facebook as Public Forum and Pro-Democracy Tool (NYT article “Revolution, Facebook-Style”)
  36. 36. The April 6 group participated in demonstrations about Gaza, some of which were coordinated on Facebook Egypt
  37. 37. April 6th General Strike “Online, members of the movement are casting votes on the Web site’s walls, publishing notes with their views on the political situation and creating groups to draft a constitution for their movement. But what does it mean to have a vibrant civil society on your computer screen and a police state in the street? When I spoke to Nora Younis, she described the April 6 strike as a practice session for the new generation. “It’s a rehearsal for a bigger thing,” she said. “Right now, we are just testing the power of each other.” Egypt
  38. 38. Egypt
  39. 39. The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism “...dissidents thrive on sites, like Facebook, that are used primarily for more mundane purposes (like exchanging pictures of cute cats). Authoritarian regimes can’t block political Facebook groups without blocking all the “American Idol” fans and cat lovers as well.“ Ethan Zuckerman
  40. 40. “Facebook revealed a liberal undercurrent in Egyptian society,” “In general, there’s this kind of apathy, a sense that there is nothing we can do to change Egyptian blogger the situation. But with Facebook you realize there are others who think alike and share the Wael Nawara same ideals. You can find Islamists there, but it is really dominated by liberal voices.”
  41. 41. Facebook as a Pro-Democracy Tool? “The social-networking site Facebook is being used for more than socializing. In Colombia, a Facebook page dedicated to protesting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, that country's largest rebel group, is helping organize thousands of people in cities around the world.”
  42. 42. Social Networking Platforms as Sites of Conflict Mediation?
  43. 43. Stop the War's website has been disabled by hackers because of its opposition to Israel's bombardment of Gaza, the campaign group has said.
  44. 44. Arabs and Jews Refuse to be Enemies
  45. 45. more than 70,000 Facebook users donated their status QassamCount: Users donate their FB status update - each time Israel is hit by a rocket the status alerts to that.
  46. 46. “When you subscribe to this application, you will be donating to a counter media campaign on Facebook. This application will update your status periodically with the numbers of Palestinians got killed and wounded in the Israeli ruthless genocide in Gaza. These numbers have already exceeded hundreds and thousands versus only few tens of Israelis.”
  47. 47. over 700,000 members
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  49. 49. organized by US State Department
  50. 50. Memory
  51. 51. “Al Jazeera is using an open-source software tool called Ushahidi (Swahili for quot;testimonyquot;) for this online reporting experiment. The program was created in early 2008, to document the post-election violence in Kenya. Coders in Kenya, South Africa, Malawi, Ghana, Netherlands and the United States have contributed to its development.”
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  54. 54. “For art to be 'unpolitical' means only to ally itself with the 'ruling' group.” Kleines Organon für das Theater, as translated in Brecht on Theatre (1964) “Ah, what an age it is When to speak of trees is almost a crime For it is a kind of silence about injustice!” Bertolt Brecht * A response to the Nazi book burnings, in quot;To Posterityquot; (1939) as translated by H. R. Hays (1947)
  55. 55. Horit Herman Peled is an Israeli media artist
  56. 56. Jacir spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia and then attended high school in Italy. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree from the University of Dallas and her MFA from the Memphis College of Art. Currently, she divides her time between New York and Ramallah.
  57. 57. Read more: See instructor’s bookmarks
  58. 58. Trebor Scholz Blog: Delicious: