Facebook a Gazan cyber battleground

Gaza seems to be winning the war against Israel - on Facebook, at least.

By TORI CHEIFETZ
January 18, 2009 20:18
1 minute read.
Facebook a Gazan cyber battleground

facebook gaza 248.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Gaza seems to be winning the war against Israel - on Facebook, at least. Members of the popular social networking Web site have recently created a function allowing users to donate their status, or personal update, to any number of causes, including support for or opposition to the IDF offensive in Gaza. The pro-Israel application, created by Facebook members from the United States and Israel, allows users to display on their profile pages an up-to-date announcement of how many Kassam rockets have been fired on Israel from Gaza. The latest update reads: "QassamCount: 20 Hamas rockets hit 5 Israeli cities on Saturday. Donate your status: http://qassamcount.com/fb.via QassamCount -17 hours ago." The latest such application, "STOP Israel's War Crimes in Gaza," was created by a Facebook user in Egypt in response to QassamCount. In the description of the application, the creator explains what he believes supporters of Israel are attempting to do through Facebook: "They are making use of the Facebook applications platform, and the great number of users who will be viewing these updates from their friends' statuses, to spread the idea of Israel being a victim defending itself, and win the world's support, especially [since] the West's mass media are twisting the truth and giving a misleading idea about the barbarian Israeli attacks to Gaza, and its reasons." The STOP Israel's War Crimes in Gaza application is twice as popular as QassamCount. The first boasts 648, 828 monthly active users, as compared to QassamCount's 342, 892. The discussion board, which exists in all applications and allows users to debate the merits and faults of any application (or, in this case, the political situation) is hands-down more popular for STOP Israel's War Crimes in Gaza: 305 discussion topics, some with responses up to 30 pages long, versus 52 discussion topics by QassamCount. In addition, a new function on Facebook that allows users to become fans of applications is another instance in which the Palestinian cause has proven more popular. Whereas QassamCount has only 1,634 users identifying themselves as fans of the application, the opposition boasts a staggering 87,537 fans.

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