An update to my post on social media and late modern war (also here): Rebecca Stein writes with the excellent news that she has published an extended version of her MERIP commentary on Israel’s Twitter-war on Gaza: “StateTube: Anthropological reflections on social media and the Israeli state”, in Anthropological Quarterly 85 (3) (2012) 893-916. The essay complicates what she calls the usual narrative about digital militancy (which is the theme of a special section of the journal): ‘the notion of new technologies that organically liberate from below, and of states invested chiefly in their repression from above.’
That said, some Israelis seem to have an astonishingly obdurate view of the power of social media – Rebecca quotes one member of Likud claiming that “Facebook pages … have as much impact as a tank – and sometimes even more” – and, as she notes, remarkably little sense of the countervailing possibilities.
All of which makes me wonder about a sequel to David Fincher‘s film about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, The social network (2010): in the light of Rebecca’s ethnographic work, the original poster (reproduced above) suggests an altogether different scenario….
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