Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Traditional and Social Media Reaction to Gaza.

Traditional and Social Media Reaction to Gaza

In general, my Facebook news feed and most of what I have read on Twitter has been pretty condemning of Israeli actions in Gaza since fighting broke out again. Without even giving my own opinion, it is easy to see why this is the case. All you have to do is look at the facts and the numbers being given through traditional media outlets such as the newspapers. The fighting has now left 1,800 Palestinians dead and 64 Israelis killed. This shows us what seems to be an incredibly one-sided war. When you couple this with news of which Palestinians have been killed you can see why the reaction on social media has also been so one-sided. Rather than just military targets being hit there are now more than half a million homeless Palestinians. This shows us that it is ordinary people who are suffering the brunt of the numerous airstrikes. 

In the past, traditional Western media has often been accused of being pro-Isreal and not giving a fair account of what is really happening. However, as shown previously, the numbers tell the true story of the situation in Gaza and it would take an incredible amount of media spin to say otherwise. People have taken the information they have got from traditional media and realised it doesn't tally with the response of most Western governments. They have then used social media to vent their anger and this voice is one that can't be easily ignored. There has even been fairly high profile celebrities voicing their support for Palestine which does give the conflict a wider audience regardless of what you think of mainstream celebrities voicing their political opinions. 

The main problem with the reaction to the conflict on social media? Well, it appears to have had very little, if any, impact on improving the situation for people in Gaza. 1,800 Palestinians are dead and yet Barack Obama has just signed a bill that will give 133 million pounds to Israel for a missile defence system. I'll just let that sink in for a moment. 

We now enter the second day of a ceasefire that has almost no chance of leading to a peaceful outcome. Israel almost definitely won't stop blockading Gaza and Hamas almost definitely won't disarm. This will mean the numbers in traditional media will continue to grow and the voices on social media will continue to get louder. 

As Voltaire said,