The first all-Twitter war

The blending of our physical and logical worlds couldn’t have been more strange than last week when fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip.

The media found out on Twitter. Airstrikes and rockets coexisted with tweets that were meant to sway public opinion and to deliver warnings. In fact, the Israel Defense Forces account was suspended for delivering what Twitter considered a threat.

#Hamas, #Israel

In 2012, pictures of violence in tweets and on YouTube are weapons of war as much as rockets and guns. But because we’re talking about social media, others can weigh in. And they did. And many want both sides to stop. This is a new world where we have a real-time conversation about war while it is actually happening. And with the participants and public all involved in a single forum.

There’s something very strange about the mix hash tags and artillery fire.

Social pacifism?

Can social media bring the hostilities to an end? It is a delicious thought that maybe collective voices can influence leaders, reversing the equation that normally sets war in motion. If social media could bring down Arab governments that weren’t responsible to their people, maybe enough voices could at least slow down governments bent on destruction. It would be great if a war of words was the only warfare happening.

Maybe, maybe not. But we can dream.

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Categories: Social / Collaboration

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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