As global conflicts take centre stage in the world, it tends to also take centre stage in the digital world, primarily in social media.
It’s widely known that social media contributed to the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall St. along with other crucial events that have occurred in the past 5 years. Now, it is contributing on a much grander scale.
Social media sways public opinion and creates a direct pipeline to the conflict. Viewpoints from those experiencing the conflict firsthand along with military and political personnel can all be accessed 24 hours a day.
One of the current conflicts that is being waged is happening in the Middle East, more specifically in Gaza. A subsection of this war has been waged in social media through such hashtags as #IsraelUnderFire and #GazaUnderAttack.
Social media is also being used to wage another war, where the ammunition and infantry is information.
This is not to say that any side is correct, but in these modern times of communication social media is both an ally and an enemy, depending on what side you stand on.
Consider this, the hastag #GazaUnderAttack has been used over 4 million times since July 22nd, 2014. That’s a lot of activity in a relatively short period of time.
The power and reach of social media is unequal and any conflict is now being viewed through the millions of lens that now have a digital soapbox.
As digital marketers, you most likely want to sit on the sidelines for conversations of this nature. It’s also vital to understand that it’ll be slightly more difficult to garner attention when topics like this own the medium.
As every day passes, social media becomes more and more intriguing because of its capabilities. It’s hard to argue that it’ll only become more engulfed in global issues going forward.
The real question and the one that will be studied is how the digital battle for public opinion affects conflict in the long run.