In comparison with other areas on the globe, the West Bank and Gaza might seem to many to be “flooded” with media. This is true in a sense, but it also misses a point. Traditional media, including local outlets, tend to go to the most expected places, and film the familiar shots over and over again. Both Israelis and Palestinians are tired of hearing the same news, and media outlets are less inclined to send crews to film an “occupation.” This leaves a great deal of space for citizen journalists, and the West Bank contains many of them.
Our model of citizen journalism is based on working with the “regular” local population, rather than with activists, and many of the videos we publish are filmed from windows, balconies and roofs rather than by someone involved in the incidents. This, I think, gives the videos a special quality, and helps the Israeli audience see the reality from the eyes, or camera lenses, of ordinary Palestinians. It is also important in terms of access, and allows us to monitor and document incidents that occur daily in Palestinian streets and fields.
There is something grotesque and disturbing about two parties with a long history of conflict live-narrating the launching of bombs that kill civilians and destroy communities.
The Israeli military and Hamas are livetweeting their war, including images of killed and wounded children. This certainly raises some questions, including for the companies whose platforms they’re using.
(The linked articles notes that the Israeli army’s Twitter account was briefly suspended. However, this is based on a report in the Daily Dot that does not cite sources for its claim, so I would treat it with caution.)
The Washington Post has more, including on a Youtube video from the Israeli military that was briefly taken down but has been reinstated.
FJP: Agreeing with the next sentence: “There is no empowerment or revolution here: just a dark, sinking feeling as we watch the bloodshed unfold in real time.”
And in the things they didn’t teach you in school department, to delete the content or suspend the accounts “is not a decision a couple of hundred engineers in North California want to be making.”
Jessica Roy, BetaBeat. Social Media Companies Have Absolutely No Idea How to Handle the Gaza Conflict.