Propaganda and war in the age of online video
Pretty interesting and provocative short post from the Swampland politics blog about how Israel is harnessing YouTube during the ongoing conflict in Gaza:
The Israeli military has its own broadcast channel for the war in Gaza, via YouTube of course. Though Israel is not the first nation to use the Internet to distribute military propaganda, it is clearly pushing the boundaries of what has been done before. You can follow Israeli soldiers as they plan missions, engage in firefights, and discover weapons hoards. It’s a bit like playing a video game.
Without getting into the politics of Israel v. Hamas, I did want to take note of the level of sophistication in how online video is being used for propaganda purposes during a time of war.
The reference to video games is interesting. On the Internet, anything that seems remotely interesting or provocative is only a click away. From LOLcats to Chocolate Rain to war in the Middle East.
This is “Night Strike on Hamas Terrorists”:
“Weapons Horde in Gazan Mosque 13 Jan. 2009″
“Hamas Rockets During Cease-Fire and From Schoolyard 8 Jan. 09″
The YouTube channel page for the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reads:
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit is the Israel Defense Forces’ professional body responsible for media and public relations in Israel and around the world. This is our new site that will help us do so.
We thank you for visiting us and will continue to update this site with documentation of the IDF’s humane action and operational success in Operation Cast Lead.