Crisis in the Middle East: a ‘Social’ aspect of Conflict

I’m watching the events occurring in the Gaza strip with some trepidation this time around. Both sides appear to mean business,  and as I get older, my compassion for those living in conflict zones has deepened. My grandparents fled Europe after World War II so that their children would never have to live through such pain and turmoil. Fast forward to 2012 and some parts of the world haven’t known peace since the end of World War II. That’s generations of people who have lived through war, as part of everyday life. I can’t fathom it. I’m grateful I’ve never known it.

Working in the social media sphere, I’m accustomed to receiving breaking news via Twitter. But this announcement truly surprised me:

“Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser has started to conduct a phone vote among government ministers for approval to recruit 75,000 reserve soldiers,” the cabinet secretary wrote on his official Facebook page as Netanyahu began three hours of talks with his inner circle

And now, the world gets official Government announcements via Facebook.

Society has become attuned to receiving news and images from conflict zones via Twitter (such as the unlikely fellow who Tweeted Osama Bin Laden’s demise) and Instagram, but I can’t recall ever being given a reference to an ‘official’ Government Facebook Page as a source of authorised comment.

Facebook has traditionally been a source of public relations photographs, event synopsis’ and token hand shakes in the echelons of higher Government. It builds the ‘brand’ of Government.

Secretary Hauser’s use of Facebook as a real-time reporting mechanism is innovative.

I wonder how it will re-shape the social news media?