The Global Twittersphere Discusses Gaza

Twitter is the new blogging, or so the story goes. Never has that been more apparent than in times of crisis: During the Mumbai attacks, Twitter users provided up-to-the-minute coverage, and today, as Israeli airstrikes continue to hit Gaza, the Twittersphere is deep in discussion.

Twitter users utilize hashtags to aggregate their content; users can then go to Twitter Search and look for content on a particular subject. In this case, the most utilized hashtag is #gaza, while #gazawarofwords is tracking media bias. A search for other hashtags being used to discuss Gaza brings up #israel, #syria, #baghdad, #2states, and #rafah, among others. Users also “re-tweet” information from other users in an effort to disseminate it quickly; an example:

The real-time shelisrael, a Twitter user in California, noted early on yesterday that Twitter is one of the first platforms to enable such open discussion:

Since that point, the world has been engaged in sometimes healthy debate, other times expressing rage, and most importantly, reporting news; the following example includes participants from Palestine, Mauritania, and San Francisco (US):

The nature of the discussion provokes heated questions and arguments. skinner, from Oxford, UK via Amman, Jordan, asks:

YaelBeeri, an Israeli Twitter user, points out the diversity of opinion in the Twittersphere:

Another fascinating feature of the Twitter discussion is the analysis of media coverage. #gazawarofwords, a hashtag started by Twitter user weddady, provides a central point of aggregation for such reporting:

The best way to follow Twitter updates is by looking to the source; Twitter Search RSS feeds for any hashtag or search term (e.g. #gaza) and participating is easy.


  • Twitterers have been great in providing the latest news. I am happy with all of them, and I added so many today just to keep up.

  • The problem with tags are that they’re framing the events. #gaza ignores the other aspects of the story, Now, I’m not saying that Gaza isn’t a major part, but what about last 8 years bombing of Israeli towns by rockets? What about the city of Sderot where kids can’t be safe not only during military operations, but NEVER? And the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit? Where are #sderot or #giladshalit? Just though about it, guess I felt you should know.

  • Ammanvoice

    You kill, torture and kidnap. Steal, destroy and abuse the Palestinians for more than 60 years and you still don’t know that these people are defending their rights to live or exist? If someone stole your land, home, and killed your people what will you do? After more than 6 months of isolation the Israeli army attacked Gaza and so far killed more than 300 human soul. You should be ashame of your country and your people.

  • […] @rmack: Jillian York at Global Voices:”The Global Twittersphere Discusses Gaza”, in Polish soon as well! « előző | következő » sylwiapresley — 2008. 12. 29. […]

  • You make me SICK, can’t you even condemn the massacre, what about Gilad Shalit!!!.

    What about Dair yaseen, What about Genin, What About Qana, What about Sabra and Shatila, What About Golan, What about West Bank, What about Palestine!!!.

    Nation made of crime and hate, a nation built over blood, a nation created on holocaust and can’t get over yet, if she is not in she put another people in.

    Your logic is twisted!!, if you can’t recognize your nation massacres yet you justify the crime!! you don’t have the right to talk about your citizens.

  • The Israelis and Arabs are brethren to each other.

    I dream for a day when this family of our father Abraham can unite in peace.

    Crimes by USA and Israel can not go untouched, it is not the people but the governments who are in wrong no one wants to have wars but the evil rulers of the world…

    Enough is enough for all of us as humans.

  • […] with links to Global Voices Online articles about the use of twitter as well as several other interesting […]

  • […] Given the recent use of Twitter in discussing major events such as the recent attacks in Mumbai and Gaza, it is unsurprising to see such […]

  • Thought somebody would do a piece like this which is why I poked my head into #gaza with repeated challenge of the process, Haven;t yet heard of anything to ch
    ange my mind

    @paulwiggins … who of course might be wrong and far too cynicql.

  • […] satria natao hiadian-kevitra amina toe-javatra lehibe sahala amin'ny nitranga tany Bombay sy Gaza indrindra ny […]

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