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Read this: Israel-Gaza conflict rages online

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Israel-Gaza conflict rages online…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, I'm Arenas are and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 welcome Israel and the Palestinian the story is stuck on repeat but the Battle Ground is shifting and talking tiktok Middle East tutorials infographics on Instagram and a Twitter spat between a soup and the Israeli government might some Petty but social media is now a weapon of war the lines have been drawn hearts and Minds of the price to check this and a whole lot of other stuff.

I have a lovely bunch of people with me Sarah Hersham is visiting assistant professor of Israel studies at northwestern university in the US Gabriel Wyman is professor of Communications at the University of Haifa rights for Middle East Chris stokel-walker is a journalist and social media expert and also with this today is Anna bassi.

Who is the editorial director of the week junior magazine aimed at kids there is no swiping required and I will talk to you a bit later, but not briefly I know your subscription numbers have gone up significantly what you're one of the fastest growing magazines in the UK right now.

Is it is that correct yeah? That's absolutely right 36% more subscribers in the past year now hit 100000 subscribers for the magazine.

Just going from strength to strength at the moment.

What is on the cover this week this week.

We have got news of the big beach clean up.

So this is a humanist her to clean up a million miles worth of beach across the UK Chris come to you briefly to just talk about one of the massive stories this week.

Is is about the merger so warnermedia and Discovery kind of getting married really.

What does this mean give us a sense of the scale and what does it mean to us as views and listeners think it could mean an awful lot because we have the battle for online streaming video which is dominated by the likes of Netflix Amazon Disney plus obviously coming around the corner with 100 million odd subscribers worldwide and any have AT&T warnermedia is HBO in Discovery which is channels like Quest in the UK they're very very much on the back end, but combined they could have 60 million subscribers, so I think it's an attempt to try and fight with the big boys.

Yes absolutely let's go back to the question at the top of the program today Israel and the Palestinians it's been dominating headlines of course for more than a week now and this long-running local conflict is now playing out in real time on a global stage during billions of social media users for a battle about who gets to decide the narrative.

Sarongs and the rights of all that Deborah Wayman professor of Communications at the University of Haifa tell us what you were seeing playing out in front of you on social media right now Media during conflicts wartime.

Terrorism is not true and we've seen a lot of those discomfort notice in the Middle East all over the world right now and I'm looking at the Middle East conflict right now is a case study in the long range of abuse of social media in the is the way the social media abuse regardless of your personal usually Western Histon northern southern be worried about the way social media or use this instrument of Peace of understanding are being abused and I being manipulated and more travelling if I make improvement in my opening statement.

Is that we are not talking anymore about those big Giants like Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube but the new players in the field of tiktok exposing children recordable you sent messages children, so we use of social media and especially those you like TiK ToK should be travelling us.

Give me an example.

You give me an example of where you see that happening.

I would like to see them and just heading off to the fire and Tuesday power when near the mosque in this angle of the video was showing his dancing and the Birmingham

Dancing because the post today of the most was not burning the message that she was dancing because the mosque is going now.

This is the way the video presenter especially to audiences that quite aware of let's a fake news and videos and instead of showing and involved in in coffee that you just add fuel to the fire and I know you've been writing about this this weekend and social media use in particular.

What is your take on what we're saying out at the moment.

Yes, I have I have been writing over the past 2 weeks particularly with regards to celebrities and the reaction generally on social media from kind of high-profile figures, so we've seen huge number of

Actors footballers and speaking out on social media sending kind of messages of solidarity so to list a few names Oscar-winning actress viola Davis and singers including the weekend Dua lipa Zayn Malik footballers including mo salah.

Riyad mahrez, Benjamin Mendy there all day listening.

There's been so many figures who have spoken out on social media and and to the point where we can only say that there's definitely been a growth in terms of the number of celebrities have spoken now in comparison has two instances of an escalation of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories and is potentially linked to.

Is matter movement having taken place last year and and resource similar calls from from users on social media asking celebrities social media influencers to use a very very large platforms to to inform their followers about what's happening and also to share messages and we seem so so many there has been some push back as well that hasn't there cos there's been this idea and Sarah bunion on a second on this but there has been this idea.

I guess I'll call her kind of stick to your own Lane type of idea that your celebrities.

Why do you need to be talking about this stuff? What what's your take on that? Yes, there has been I think from for many different reasons and in the manager from and one of the most biggest the biggest push back which she mention Carnival

Show was the official Israel account at Israel on Twitter singling out Bella Hadid the Palestinian heritage model who has been very very vocal probably the most because I've seen that want to come back to Bella vs.

The state of Israel in a second but Sarah I want you take more broadly on the idea of celebs getting involved with the staff.

I think you tweeted recently you said is the thing about celebrity hot takes on Israel Palestine I don't try to walk down runways in my lingerie host the comedy programme or play a sold-out stadium.

So how about you? Don't try to years of historical language and cultural study on the ground for a tick tock tell us what you really think why don't you Sarah way? If you got a problem with this? I'm sorry.

Actually, won celebrity celebrity culture of a consumer Pop Culture like everyone else.

I've I enjoy it and I see many celebrities that I do follow and social media myself using their celebrity advocate for causes that I've been putting a celebrity to very good to stop what I am concerned about is bad.

Many young people are using social media as their sole source of information and with great power comes great responsibility for these celebrities that I hope that they will use their platforms not only to entertain her to a pint but also to educate because I unfortunately many people in the world are not going to be taking my university course on the israel-palestine conflict reading 300 page book there going to be getting there information for an infographic and that's great responsibility for any individual.

Let's go back to explain for people who don't necessarily know why Bella Hadid

Such power why is this important and why have we got to the stage where the Israeli official Israeli national Twitter account is taken on a supermodel? Yeah? I sure so so Bella Hadid as I mentioned.

She is a Palestinian American model with tens of millions of followers on Instagram she's the sister of Duty who was a similar number of followers and both of them have been very very outspoken over the past 2 weeks in a sharing Instagram posts on Instagram stories about the situation and I can accommodated in the case of Bella Hadid with her attending a rally Palestinian rally in Brooklyn in New York this weekend and so what's the official at Israel Twitter account.

Alter up on I was they they accused her of advocating for Jewish people to be thrown into the city which money issue with with that analysis of what she did what she actually did was she participated in a chance.

We're from the river to the sea Palestine will be free with men in Palestinian activists and advocates say is a rallying call for all that live within Israel and within the territories to Cannock all for them for their liberation and for their freedom so it's very interesting to see official social media accounts answering themselves into the online conversation that hasn't been.

Actually Netanyahu is the son of the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu he tweeted last week that that's very different with Palestinian celebrities such as Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid and the only Israeli celebrity that could potentially can be as The Wonder Woman actress in his view.

She remains like Switzerland indicating that neutral he wasn't very happy with her and you know the prime minister's son is talking about the kind of the strength of celebrities that the online debate is something very important.

I mean you won't because Bella Hadid has 42 million followers online that's bigger.

That's a bigger audience than many news outlets Sarah why do you think many people will listen to this?

Why does the Israeli state official Twitter account have to get into a ding dong with a supermodel? Can you come back on the point specifically about what was being answered and white was important for the israelis to engage with this myself as she said 42 billion followers are 7 million state of Israel and I think 15 million worldwide, so obviously you know absolutely later.


X x x x the actual population that she may be be addressing or that he may be commenting on so I mean her following is absolutely stupendous, and I think that's why it attracts the attention of the state of Israel there official account but I think the state of Israel in general has not released in the form of public diplomacy.

Or what is often called hospital which is sort of propaganda, Israeli propaganda, and they would like to have those kinds of successes.

They make some other celebrities of heroin to waiting on the other hand suggested, but they just don't have the ability to attract the number of followers and frankly to have the kind of a Pop Culture residence coming from a small country which doesn't have all that many prominent celebrities in order to do so so, I think it's a little bit of jealousy on the part of the official is how much how much power of someone like Bella Hadid housing social media sphere as opposed to an official count of 8 but I do think that the slogan that was being chatted there has a a an undertone possibly of ethnic cleansing that from the river to the sea employees are not being very presence between the river to the sea and I am.

Stephen Israel takes tissue without on which is different from chanting slogans free Palestine which doesn't predispose any particular protocol configuration between a river and the sea but the other Palestinians interrogated Carly wants is that Logan and I think it's because I cry for Palestinians on social media in temperate regions another so I think it's not unusual that we saw her embracing add sodium like many other active is perception in Israel of of the responsibility of of tech platforms.

Are they seeing a soon as been doing enough of being complicit with a particular site from the specific stage of dimensions of the more general one speaking about strong people to see her and the one leaving now as well and I live.

Wanted to see is not very appealing to me, but are you there be more concerned about in general on social conflict is just one piece of social media when we need to go on.

What's the heat in the way social media used to spend we did find only one type of food is not the israelis and the Palestinians it's going to be new notice it can be active Lexington and Muslim women anti-gay insole social media being induced now.

That is not understand and violence on social media.

Should be considered as the only one fighting now.

It should be a global and it should be directed against companies it should be also in Educational defensive measures have those tiktok users so they must be abused so they won't be seduced won't be manipulated.

I'm not doing enough today.

I think it's important that Returns social media to say in interview what she was chanting and her posts have been pro-palestinian as opposed to Auntie is ready to pick up on that point about tech platforms, how mind for do you think platforms are about I mean? I was reading that Nick Clegg the vice president of global affairs and comes for Facebook is actually having meetings with the Israeli authorities and with Palestinian authority.

Extraordinary to me that in the middle of all this you got these meetings taking place that really aware of the gravity and the role they play here if an already were being becoming increasingly aware by the minute as we've kind of discussed over the last 10 minutes or so this is an incredibly complicated if you it has long been an incredibly complicated you and we have tens if not hundreds of millions of users who are interacting and commenting on this day in day out these not once have become our public forums for discussion so Claire control Kaplan who are two of Facebook's higher-ups and also some tiktok executives met with Israeli defence minister last Thursday I think that Facebook has gone on the record and male meeting with the Palestinian counterparts next week and this is all.

I think designed to try and maybe find a way through some of this new ones.

We've had this discussion about the

And the way that is used you have to remember these platforms on moderating their contents in a way that is often very blind to the context so I think that is in part what they are due to get a little bit of understanding of both sides of views over this incredibly intractable conflict.

I'd like to get your take on that the broader issue here and abroad and in the direction of traffic because there's a question about where people are getting their news from and arguably Gaza and and the situation right now is following a pattern that we saw with blm.

We saw post George Floyd in terms of lots of people taking to social media to express themselves, but also to consume news and views and use these platforms is there primary source and we've seen large numbers of young people doing that for you.

Do you think that's problematic?

Distinctions between blm and the Palestinian cause actually goes back to the 1960s you know x what causes black and brown activism worldwide movement, so this is nothing new but I do think I was saying escalation on social media.

Obviously the new technology that facilitates these kinds of linkages that exist 50 years ago and anything wrong with it, but I do think that there is a danger that use the social videos actually Escalade in the conflict on the ground is Gabriel in Australia there now to Battlefield virtual Battlefield and the actual conflict happening on the ground put on social media.

You can see something Kinda screen thousands and thousands of miles away writing post that are intended to further that you are quiet the situation, but you yourself or not going to ensure the suffering that will result from people who are living in the region and I think that's the real.

Happening today Chris I've got two questions free really do you think young people consuming news from tiktok one? Do you think it is actually going to have an is having an impact on the reality on the ground myself question is do you think we just need to accept that tiktok is now a new source for lots of people so let's take the second one first tiktok is a new source for lots of people.

There are plenty of journalist own now in the last week tiktok tiktok has been running a media literacy campaign which is very interesting given some of the discussions that we've talked about in terms of how to separate from fiction or opinion from objective truth in terms of whether or not there.

Is this risk with tiktok.

I think that it is absolutely something that is bleeding into the real world, but I would caution against this being something that is actually affecting the conflict in real life.

You have to remember that many of these users had a recounting this will be.

Side of the disputed territories, they will be completely separate from this.

I think this is just the sort of typical discussion that you expect to have from people tuned into new so yes, there will be those before you are very much bridled up by this but we had plenty of examples in the past of social media driven conversations that haven't really had an impact in the real world.

Thank you.

Just briefly looking for in the last week's you had many empirical evidence of ghost types of cognitive-behavioral.

You won't give me the enough time to give you one example before just started tiktok videos.

Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem and others try to imitate them.

It was very clear and some of the rest of guy said we saw on tiktok and if he doesn't affect thank you Gabriel appreciate that thank you Anna bassi your the end of this week junior for this tiktok generation that we're talking about why do they want a hands-on magazine that you actually flick though you don't swear.

What is the appeal here for printed matter.

I'm very heart of our mission is the real name for reading and encouraging children to be for pleasure and we've seen over the past five years since we launched just that there really is still an appetite for it and I think it's some you know it's very different way to consume information.

Actually to go back to what you're have a guest have been speaking about I think what we are able to do is to apply that that calm and non-judgmental approach to reporting on the news we have to go careful in terms of reporting stories such as these two are reasons to not to not inflate anxiety really do have to stick to the facts.

We know them and allow our readers to make up their own minds about what's Going On by providing them with the context in the background you stories and to help them to understand both sides, but without taking citalopram.

How would you be covering the Israel and the Palestinian Story how would you be covering that right now? We have done it this week.

It's all it's I'm a new story this week in the team.

Just in fact and that is you to press my head over wrestling with it right until the very last minute.

We taking enormous Mothercare over every very simple you know it's

We stick to the fact that we know we do to try to provide balance and I think for our readers because there is the youngest is seven or eight years old the first thing for us to do is to provide them the context so you know explain the history of the region explain the political and religious significance of that area so they said they gain an understanding of why these tensions of so high you know what we won't be providing with anything that's particularly inflammatory and we are always really careful to distinguish.

You know what we know is a fact and what is an opinion or response to the fact and that that's just we must tell them what to think we will need to have to help me learn how to think of a kind of parental anxiety over WhatsApp on social media and what young people have exposed to that is driving traffic to you.

Do you think that's why you've got these great sales figures at the moment.

We know that we have a huge amount of trust in the brand.

You know parents are very comfortable allowing us to explain world events to their children and you know that space at the world.

Is you know the world is full of information now and it's moving quickly and many children are really too young to learn to distinguish between you know what something that's been taken out of context.

What's the fact that they need to understand so I have it.

I think children.

You know parents.

Love to see their children reading there's nothing nicer as a parent and seeing your child happily absorbed in a magazine or a book.

I think we've got a you know we've found a niche for ourselves and I think at a time when you know many people would like to believe that children are only interested in learning through social media on screens with we show that there is still space for a quiet time my children.

Can you just explore the world at their leisure? Thank you.

Do you think I kind of print magazine for kids?

Alright now, is this a kind of pandemic blip or is it a broader trend? I think it's abroad of friends and actually there are examples mobeen old online personalities into the print world so Ryan country.

Who is a 9-year-old one of the biggest YouTubers on the planet.

He set up his own magazine.

That is hugely popular because he wants to try and get this one connection.

So it's really interesting to see what the week funeral doing their Chris we've run out of time.

Thank you so much and thank you to all my guests today really appreciate your time Chris stokel-walker Anna bassi Sarah Gabriel women Andrea McLean thank you all.

I'll be back for the same at the same time next week.

Thank you all for listening and of course you can hear me what fire BBC sounds really appreciate your time.

Thank you.

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