Hasbara on the Internet: Theory, Practice and Strategy

This talk was a keynote speech for an advocacy event run by the Israeli Embassy in London.

The presentation followed an address by Israeli’s Ambassador to the UK. As I was in Israel at the time, the talk and Q&A session was delivered by teleconferencing between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem and the Embassy in London.  The technology worked without a problem and I was also able to listen in on the Ambassador’s address.

Some key extracts:

Since November 2007:

  • Facebook has grown from 54 million to over 60 million users
  • YouTube went from 49.5 Million unique viewers to almost 70 Million

Problems in Google Earth (the Nakba dots) were discussed, and in particular the implications such replacement geography could have for public understanding of the conflict.

Problems in Flickr were examined, including the link between activists and terrorists.

Facebook was discussed in depth, including problems with the Causes application (which I have since caused to be fixed).

The skills session looked at:

  • Keywords
  • SEO and links between websites
  • Blogging and Forum activism
  • Specific guidance on activism in: Facebook, YouTube, Google Earth, Wikipedia, Flickr, and myspace

Final advice:

  • Get online, get accounts, use them
  • Grass roots approach
  • Integration of multiple tools
  • Leverage off other people
  • Promote your initiative
  • Promote others initiatives
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