The IDF’s new weapons of war: Twitter and You Tube

by | Dec 31, 2008


Two of my favourite blogs, MountainRunner and Danger Room highlight the IDF’s attempt to win over the blogosphere using Twitter and You Tube. Why? Because according to the head of the IDF’s press team: “The blogosphere and new media are another war zone, we have to be relevant there.”

The YouTube channel was created with the aim of distributing footage of precision airstrikes. Interestingly YouTube took down some of the ‘exclusive footage’ showing the IDF’s operational success in operation Cast Lead against Hamas extremists in the Gaza Strip, but appears to have returned some of the footage due to popular demand.

Elsewhere the Israeli consulate in New York hosted a press conference on Twitter in order to answer the public’s questions regarding the situation in Gaza. How one measures the success of the twitterference is difficult but, as both Matt and Nathan point out, reducing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to tweets of 140 characters or less makes for interesting reading:

‘We hav 2 prtct R ctzens 2, only way fwd through neogtiations, & left Gaza in 05. y Hamas launch missiles not peace?’,

‘we’re not at war with the PAL people. we’re at war with a group declared by the EU& US a terrorist org’.

Author

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    Charlie Edwards is Director of National Security and Resilience Studies at the Royal United Services Institute. Prior to RUSI he was a Research Leader at the RAND Corporation focusing on Defence and Security where he conducted research and analysis on a broad range of subject areas including: the evaluation and implementation of counter-violent extremism programmes in Europe and Africa, UK cyber strategy, European emergency management, and the role of the internet in the process of radicalisation. He has undertaken fieldwork in Iraq, Somalia, and the wider Horn of Africa region.


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