News of the Tweet: Bombs and Boobs

Nuclear-force knockers, drones, droning on, and the question of reality.


By Seb Kemp

According to Google’s mega-algorithms the name Bastard.com is a goer but Stupidfun.com is not. Meanwhile, our passwords can not protect us.

With certain names and words banned it is interesting to note that certain material is not banned. The Israel Defense Forces have been waging war using the internet with a string of tweets that make claims and act as propaganda.

It is a form of PR, with propaganda and public relations being blurred.

In the virtual world, (is that a defunct term these days? Not just in semiotic terms but also by the argument that the virtual has become a true real world with real world consequences?) powers and players have adopted social media to do their bidding. Perhaps not exactly tactical battlefield victory but certainly the battle to spin, promote, and provide disinformation in the war of public opinion.

What would Jean Baudrillard (who famously asserted that the Gulf war never happened) have to say about this?

Oh no, my hyperbolic hero has lost the plot. Or has he?

If you want the exact opposite of light reading then pick up one of his books or essays. It does sound like everything he says is meaningless, but he has something to say about that too.

Anyway, back to war, death, bombs, and bodies.

The IDF also believe in cross platform social media integration which is a sign they may have employed a social media “guru”.

The terms of service for most social media sites and services almost universally ban and prohibit violence, which makes the Israeli Defense Force’s live-tweeting, YouTubing and Flickring of its assault on Gaza potentially problematic for social media outlets.

Matt Buchanan of Buzzfeed asks whether the IDF’s videos and photos of its assaults on Hamas belong on social media.

“Twitter, for instance, bans “violence and threats”: “You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.” This seems like a direct, specific threat of violence. YouTube’s community guidelines warn, “Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don’t post it.” This video shows a man being killed. Facebook’s terms say, “You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” (Bold is mine.) But the IDF regularly posts things like this poster celebrating the death of Ahmed Jabari, which could very well incite violence. These issues are complicated, and services are clearly wrestling with how to deal with it.”

YouTube did censor the assassination video of Ahmed Jabari but then reinstated it a little while later saying that pulling it was a mistake “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”

That we have access to this is horrendously brutal but it is significant that we can see it. Previously all media was controlled by stakeholders that could have political motives and biases that meant they subtly and unconsciously, or deliberately and heavily, framed news in ways that suited their own objectives. The walls have come down and the previously powerful gatekeepers left nearly obsolete, making motives more transparent. Now, for better or worse, we can witness the world eat itself. In this case we can watch a country and its opponent chronicle their own war against each other in real time.

More so, the individual (with his or her own personal biases and objectives) can access public attention by using social media means.

Right now, self-publishing media powerhouses from The Albion are in Israel and will bring back incredible stories of how bicycles and violence collided for them.

Whereas back in real olde worlde albion, media brewery and the UK’s most widely circulated newspaper, The Sun, is under attack. Its 42 year old tradition of having boobs on show in the newspaper could be bombed into the ground by the pavement ranting of chest envious attention seekers.

This is a very real campaign fighting real issues. To prove this they even have a Twibbon. If you want to fight to make society one step closer to being even more scared of our own bodies and allowing attention seeking b-grade celebrity half-wits to furnish their own career on the backbreaking work of others, then go ahead and turn your Twitter profile picture a stupid placard that is not even the size of a postage stamp.

WHAT DO WE WANT?

WHO KNOWS!

WHEN DO WE WANT IT?

Hang on, I’m just sending a tweet the editor of The Sun telling him what a miso soupist…mister ogreist…

[groan] You mean misogynist?

Yeah, that’s it. What hashtag are we using?

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