Gaza media coverage – war 2.0, social media and cyberwar

War 2.0
Adrian Monck assesses Israel’s online propaganda operation. He notes:

“Back in January 2008, 26 IDF ‘combat cameramen’ held a fortnight long exercise with US military camera teams, and were “drilled in the use of wireless image transmission technology.”

Which is interesting. You can’t help but think that the IDF must have had a look at the US military’s Web 2.0 offering, even if it was only on an informal basis and not comparable to the cooperation in the exercise above. Although the US military have work to do (like this) they are still ahead of other militaries in the social media sphere.

The US Department of Defense set up a new media programme at the beginning of 2007, launched a Youtube channel in May 2007, recently set up Trooptube and launched this interactive recruitment site.

More links on this:
Israel uses YouTube, Twitter to share its point of view –
Gaza: secondary war being fought on the internet – Times Online

Cyberwar and Forums

Hacking websites was a feature of the Russo-Georgia war in August 2008. Will McCant’s excellent blog provides a list of Israeli and Jewish websites that the Ansar al-Mujahideen Network claim to have hacked.
Will has also translated some of the reaction to Gaza from Islamist web forums into English.

Twitter and War
Nathaniel Whittemore, Director for the Center for Global Engagement, claims the conflict in Gaza is the first war to be reported in 140 characters or less. Although he does express some limited optimism at this development he concludes:

“It’s the pessimist who recognizes how hard it is to overcome the feeling that average citizens don’t have much of a hand in foreign policy. It’s the pessimist who recognizes that “humanitarianism” is often used as a euphemism for war, and who recognizes the truth of the quote that there are “no humanitarian solutions to humanitarian problems.”
It’s the pessimist in me who recognizes that social media can just be another propaganda tool. And it’s the pessimist in me who recognizes that even technology that gives us the opportunity to be close to pain and suffering does not provide those who would rather avoid it a reason to open themselves to that pain.”