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Social Media Has Become a Vortex in the Israel-Hamas Conflict

As with every recent conflict, social media has become an outlet for a slew of posts highlighting despicable acts in the Israeli-Hamas conflict. We’ve all seen horrible clips of what is happening in both Gaza and Israel. There’s no getting away from the footage; it is everywhere.

These videos offer a raw account of the conflict that consumers are unable to find through any other medium. On platforms such as TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter, users can find live streams, graphic videos, and first-hand accounts of the conflict. Rather than select news outlets reporting on a story, now anyone can gain access as long as they have an internet connection and a phone. 

No doubt, the widespread consumption of videos related to the conflict has led to the spread of fake news. There is no one to verify any of the content online. For example, a viral video showing Hamas fighters shooting down an Israeli helicopter was later found to be from the video game Arma 3. It is alarming how quickly these videos can be seen as fact, especially by uninformed viewers who might not be aware of the complexities related to the conflict.

Above all, it is important to recognize the deep psychological effects graphic content has on viewers, especially younger, more impressionable audiences. It goes without saying that being surrounded by a vortex of graphic videos can have a deep impact on our mental health. The trauma both Jews and Palestinians have faced will affect both communities for many years.

As politicians divide us–often through social media–real human connection is the only way to come closer. It is essential that the Jewish and Palestinian communities work together to gain a deeper understanding of each other and strive toward peaceful coexistence. We cannot hide behind screens; it is our duty to face each other in the real world.

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