No soul was left indifferent after the horrible events of October 7, which quickly turned into the Iron Swords war. Now, we all want to feel that we are contributing something to the effort to bring the world's attention to the Hamas atrocities, whether right out front or quietly from the rear.
One of the most active arenas is, of course, that of social media networks, which have an influence on public opinion. In the absence of a functioning Information Ministry, Israeli men and women hope to be able to influence even a little bit the sounding board on the net. We saw the importance of this especially around the reports about the bombing of the hospital in Gaza, which was attributed to Israel from the first moment even though it originated from a failed launch by Islamic Jihad . In those critical hours, public opinion had already been set and the truth proved once again to be far less important.
Are you also moved by the need to contribute to the fight on the information front? The good news is that you don't have to be Noa Tishby, Yosef Haddad or influencers with millions of followers to succeed in helping the war effort in the social media arena. The less good news is that most of us are usually much less opinionated online, and prefer to scroll quietly and get angry quietly. Maximum spread around a few likes. Advocacy on social media networks will need a little more than that. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Know where you are
Most of us use more than one social network, but are not always aware of the differences between them. In order to succeed in producing messages in an effective way, you should create customized content for each social network separately, and not one content that you use for every platform. It is better to focus on the social media platform where you are more comfortable expressing yourself and creating interactions. The audiences also vary between the different platforms: If you want to reach members of the media, politicians and the brass you should focus on X, formerly Twitter. If you want to influence the younger generation maybe it's better to try TikTok. Are you trying to organize a real community and initiatives around you? Facebook is a great platform for this.
Choose an explanatory angle
When we think about propaganda, we automatically think that it is only touching videos with emotional music and impassioned speeches about Israel's need to defend itself, or innocent attempts to summarize the history of the Middle East into 280 characters, and more - all in English. But advocacy has many sides: Yes, it is possible to shine a spotlight on the atrocities. You can also shine a light on inspiring moments. You can also do the opposite: report anti-Israel posts, videos and content. And it is also possible to drive likes of support to those who speak out in favor of Israel and have to suffer a lot because of it. Think about what you are more successful and useful in - creating content or locating and reporting? Indirect or reverse advocacy?
The terrible massacre in the surrounding settlements brought with it a flood of stories: stories of heroism, stories of horror, painful stories and stories full of hope. Some are dead, some are injured, some are kidnapped, some are missing. There are soldiers, there are policemen, there are families and there are the people at the music festival. To produce an effective message, you should focus on one story. The one that especially tore you apart or touched you. Delve into the details and the human aspects - because in the end this is the most effective way to reach the hearts of others, and be the voice that tells this story.
Connect with trends
In social networks it is quite easy to identify what is viral at the moment, what are the hot (trending) topics and which hashtags make more noise. When you create explanatory content, you should connect to the various trends and hashtags, in order to increase exposure on the platform. One of the most prominent hashtags during the war, for example, is #HamasIsIsis - which is designed to draw an equivalence between the terrorist organizations. On Twitter it is relatively easy to see exactly what is on the trending list - because there is a detailed list by region. In the rest of the platforms, you can identify them by the hashtags that appear next to videos and particularly popular content.
Echo existing materials
Since the beginning of the hostilities, private civil initiatives have begun to operate for the sake of Israeli propaganda, known as hasbara. There are platforms that organize promotional materials, testimonies, interviews and videos in different languages. There are systems that identify content on social media platforms and allow you to share quickly and even offer you something written in English. And there are also platforms that help with the opposite information - organizing content of incitement and hatred and allowing you to report them easily. Here is a list of such systems that will help you in your advocacy efforts:
Words of Iron: A platform for sharing and spreading advocacy on Twitter. Just log in and receive content to share, including a few words in English. Try it here
The Iron Lions: A smart system from the AI21 company that translates testimonies into English and creates a sequence of stories ready to be uploaded and shared on social networks. Try it here
Counterpropaganda: an intuitive system for reporting content containing hate speech and incitement by Bright Data. Try it here
Stand With Israel: a platform that contains a lot of informational materials in different languages. Just log in and share
Quick reporting on Telegram: a special bot through which it is possible to report inciting content, the reports go through internal channels through Israeli employees of the technology giants. Try it here
Not sure how to do outreach? Share
After all, most of us aren't exactly sophisticated content creators. Still, it is possible to connect with creators and influencers that we follow anyway, in Israel or abroad, who engage in Israeli advocacy or simply express themselves regarding the events of the massacre and stand by Israel, and simply share and echo this content in your accounts as well.