China Spectator - 2 Sep, 2014
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has captivated and polarised international opinion. While Israeli fighter jets were pulverising buildings with "precision weapons" and Hamas was firing rockets at Israel, they were also waging another all out information war on social media. Pro-Palestinian left-wing journalists and American evangelical Christians are exchanging verbal slingshots with hash tags such as #israelunderfire or #prayforgaza. Gilad Lotan, the chief scientist at Betaworks, created a fascinating coloured network graph of Twitter traffic after the Israeli bombing of a UN school in Beit Hanoun. The graph shows “pro-Palestinian” tweets clustering around the BBC and former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald. On the other end, blue lines representing “pro-Israeli” social media posts crowd together around pro-Israeli media as well as American Tea Party supporters. Though there has been considerable discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian social media war in English-language dominated social media, there has been little discussion of another information war being waged on Chinese social media.