Israel Warns Citizens About Twitter Use
Social media geotagging features spark unprecedented security questions
As Operation Pillar of Defense unfolds on the ground in Israel, there’s a striking way in which the conflict has been playing out in the social media sphere as well as in real time. While the Israel Defense Forces’ aggressive use of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (Pinterest too) has turned heads, there’s one unpredictable element of social media the IDF might not have accounted for: users.
While the IDF social media surge seems to be based in strategy, with a clear goal in the dissemination of specific information, users remain something of a wild card, creating an unprecedented security issue for Israel forces. A flyer spreading around the Internet, titled ‘Shtika’—silence—and bearing the IDF Spokesperson insignia, warns Israelis not to Tweet or Facebook anything specific regarding where rockets launched from Gaza have hit. That information, presumably, could be used by Hamas to recalibrate their missile capabilities.
The flyer reads:
Do not advertise strike locations. The State of Israel is under attack from missiles launched from within the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces are going above and beyond in order to curb in Hamas and terror organizations.
Every time you advertise the fact that a rocket has hit a certain neighborhood, town, road, etc., you are effectively endangering public safety.
In addition, there are sensitive installments that might be an enemy target. The enemy is not stupid. The enemy is listening!
Please share and disseminate
As Fast Company reports, it’s the location-based software utilized by these social media sites that can be potentially problematic:
Geotagging of posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram makes metadata describing the exact location of a user publicly available. GPS technology allows any outsider access to triangulation abilities that would have been a military secret even 10 years ago.
While the escalation and outcome of Operation Pillar of Defense remains unclear, we’ll be able to follow it minute by minute, online. One thing’s for certain: we’re definitely not in 2008 anymore.
From subtle to egregious, major media outlets drop the ball
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.