IDF launches new campaign targeting rumors of casualties on social media

Head of IDF Casualty and Wounded Department, Brig.-Gen. Eli Lotan: Passing on rumors can har any one of us, and should worry all of us.

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May 2, 2016 09:35
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The IDF Spokesman launched a campaign Monday targeting the spreading of rumors and unauthorized information on social media, with a focus on false reports of military casualties.

The campaign, called ‘Don’t let rumors knock on the door,’ is aimed at “explaining and illustrating to the public in Israel the severity of the issue, and the deep scars that rumors leave on families [of those affected],” the military said.

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“The campaign war born following a phenomenon that stood out during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, during which rumors about wounded and killed [soldiers] made many families fearful and anxious,” the spokesman added.

Rumors incorrectly claimed that soldiers who were healthy and well had been killed. In other cases, families who lost loved ones heard about it via social media before official IDF officers arrived to break the news.

The campaign includes a film telling the story of the Amni family, whose son, Hezi, fought in Gaza in 2014, which wrongly heard that he had fallen in battle on social media. “The sense of pain, fear that paralyzed them, and uncertainty are ingrained in their memory until this day,” the IDF said.

“The IDF Casualty and Wounded Department is the authorized department to accompany families of the injured and of casualties, in a professional and sensitive manner throughout the entire process,” the military said.

The head of the unit, Brig.-Gen. Eli Lotan, added that the campaign is “of utmost importance. The phenomenon of passing on rumors can harm any one of us, and should worry all of us. The campaign has begun today, and you will be able to hear it on the radio and see it on social media. The message of the campaign is clear. As people and a society, we must not allow irresponsible rumors to knock on the door of any family in Israel.”

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