Israel trains TikTok, Instagram stars for online diplomacy campaign

The young influencers, who have a combined 30 million followers, are set to become "Israel's social media ambassadors."

 Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC)
Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC)

Israeli creators and influencers on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will take part in an online diplomacy campaign organized by the Foreign Ministry, Israeli media reported on Friday.

The young influencers, who have a combined 30 million followers, will be put through a hasbara "training" over the next week, where they will be taught how to respond to the dehumanization and delegitimization efforts against Israel on social media.

In addition, the online stars will be taught the correct terminology they should use when responding to anti-Zionist and antisemitic comments received online.

The campaign, as well as the training the influencers will receive, is organized by deputy foreign minister Idan Roll.

"I am happy that Israeli content creators have joined our efforts to improve Israel's image across the world," Roll tweeted on Friday. "They will become Israel's social media ambassadors."

"Using their natural talent for storytelling, along with training by the Foreign Ministry, they will become an integral part of our war against the delegitimization of Israel on social media," the deputy foreign minister added.

Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll speaks at an event marking Jewish Refugee Day from Arab countries and Iran at the Babylonian Jewish Heritage Center in Or-Yehuda on December 8, 2021. (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM/GPO)Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll speaks at an event marking Jewish Refugee Day from Arab countries and Iran at the Babylonian Jewish Heritage Center in Or-Yehuda on December 8, 2021. (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM/GPO)

Or Elkayam, an Israeli influencer with over six million followers, was influenced to become part of Israel's diplomacy campaign during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May, he told Ynet.

"During the operation, I was under constant attacks on my social media accounts after making a video defending Israel on TikTok, which received over half a million views," Elkayam said.

"Some might think TikTok is irrelevant but the truth is that profound, engrossing conversations are being held on the platform with people from all across the globe," he added.

Elkayam will be joined in the campaign by influencers such as Alex Korotaev, Orin Julie and Stephane Legar