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Facebook Enters the Conflict in Gaza

No media outlet is free from continuous updates about the goings on in Gaza — not even the social networking site, Facebook. According to the Jerusalem Post, Dan Peguine, a resident of Tel Aviv, created the program "QassamCount" as a … Read More

By / January 12, 2009

No media outlet is free from continuous updates about the goings on in Gaza — not even the social networking site, Facebook.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Dan Peguine, a resident of Tel Aviv, created the program "QassamCount" as a way to convey the real-time impact of rocket attacks on southern Israel. When he saw how many people were following his feed on Twitter within the first few days of its creation, he teamed up with Arik Fraimovich to create a version of the application for Facebook. The application automatically updates a subscriber’s status with a live tally of the events in Gaza. Subscribers can choose between variable live updates or a daily digest that gives a summary of the day’s attacks, both posted directly to their Facebook status. Peguine told the Post that the goal of the application is to help "bring to the world’s attention the fact that Hamas fires rockets at Israel daily." Over 220,000 Facebook members have subscribed to the application as of this afternoon. And with over 200,000 reporting such statistics to their Facebook friends, there are hundreds of thousands more accessing the updates. QassamCount gets its information daily from ynet, NRG, and Haaretz.

In response to the high volume of subscribers to Peguine and Fraimovich’s QassamCount application, Abdallah Ehab has created an application called "STOP Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza," which has nearly 300,000 subscribers as of today. According to its description on the application’s home page, it was formed as a "reply to some Zionist developers who developed Facebook applications that update subscribers’ status periodically with the number of missiles launched by Palestinian resistance…to portray Israel as the victim who is defending itself and win the international compassion and support." The application takes its statistics from Al Jazeera and Al Arabia.

Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only outlets online whose users are using the sites to raise awareness. The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) is also utilizing sites like YouTube, with informational videos about the situation in Gaza that have had well over three-quarters of a million hits as of last week, according to the Jerusalem Post.

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