Fighting for Israel on Social Media

(Times of Israel) Tracy Frydberg - On July 28, 2014, Daniel Rubenstein was scrolling through Twitter at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv when he saw a tweet from NBC News reporter Ayman Mohyeldin: "Israeli airstrike has hit the outpatient clinic at Shifa Hospital. Local Palestinian media is reporting several children among dead #gaza." Minutes later Mohyeldin tweeted again, this time accusing Israel of striking Al Shati refugee camp. Rubenstein, originally from Texas, was an IDF reservist during the 2014 Gaza war, leading the Spokesperson Unit's English social media team. He switched into crisis mode, moving quickly to get the facts before responding. An hour after Mohyeldin's first tweet, Rubinstein sent information via text message to reporters after receiving confirmation that the airstrikes were actually from Hamas rockets. Mohyeldin subsequently tweeted, "IDF: Palestinians killed in Gaza at Shati and strike at Shifa hospital were result of Hamas rockets that landed in Gaza." This anecdote is included in the new book, War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century, by journalist David Patrikarakos.

2018-01-12 00:00:00

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