Middle East

How Palestinian Internet Major Accounts Maintain Messages

In the era of memes and flowering “free Palestinian” squares, it has always been a struggle to keep messages from being lost on the internet set up to create “more digestible” content.

Five years ago, a search for “Eyeon Palestine” on Instagram led users to dazzling professional shots of the sanctuary, from the Jordan River to the sparkling Mediterranean River.

However, when the former admin handed over the account to his brother in 2017, there was a slight change in content. Instead of Palestinian snaps, new admins have begun posting daily updates on life under Israeli occupation. It expects straight politics to divert attention to the subtle and often intimate ways Palestinians suffer in their daily lives.

“Usually an English account [on Palestine] Performed by PA [Press Association] Or because he’s a man in a flashy suit, looking at our broken English will show how difficult it is for us to send a message, “said Eye on Palestine, a marketing and campaign specialist. One Hamza Mahmoud said. Mahmoud assists administrators and content creators and is based in Palestine.

“It’s weird because many of us who haven’t touched the West suddenly deal with millions of people. [Westerners] Per day, “he laughs.

What started as a grassroots movement swept the Internet. With 2.3 million followers, the account is now the world’s go-to source for understanding the living experiences of Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. There is a good reason for this. Many captions are written in Arabic, English, Turkish, Russian, French and Indonesian to build more personal connections with Palestine around the world.

As all staff are volunteers, multilingual captions come from followers around the world who want to join Eye on Palestine to disseminate information about fraud.

A quick scroll of the latest posts in your account shows the brutal beatings and arrests of Palestinians. Israeli bulldozers in Palestinian homes; and a Palestinian march in Ramallah in protest of the continued detention of Palestinian cancer patients.

Your account is familiar with sensitive content alerts.

“I used to post really beautiful posts,” says Mahmoud. “But what makes our content special is the details of the profession. We’re not talking about politics, we’re talking about people’s lives. Everyone suffers. I have, “he says.

His take is refreshing and timely. Since Palestinian digital activism began in 2015 and surged again during the 11-day Hamas / Israel war in May 2021, public awareness and prominent online presence is implicitly good for Palestinian activism. There was an agreement. Bella Hadid, an American Palestinian model with a whopping 48.3 million followers, has reposted all parent Palestinian content. This is not without a significant portion of the Zionist backlash, but by putting the Palestinian occupation in the same bracket as other serious human rights abuses and making it easier to understand the equal power conflict in the process. They will slowly pull back the blindfolds of the international community.

The question is whether digital activism had the intended effect, or whether the message was lost to the internet set to create more digestible content in the era of memes and the flowering “Free Palestine” Square. ..

It is clear to look at Palestine. It’s not here to be an internet police. Content creators have learned one or two things about goal-driven online activism.

Memes: Aesthetics has that place

For Eye on Palestine, the use of aesthetically pleasing graphic design, photography, or artwork plays a role in digital activities.

If used intentionally, it is.

“Aesthetic posts should be used as breaks, which is very important,” says Mahmoud, pointing out that most of the content is brutal.

If activist accounts are careful to do so, publishing such posts will also help promote effective altruism within the community. I-on-Palestine states that it regularly pays local artists for works published on their accounts and tags their accounts for further support.

Mahmoud says no when asked if such a post, which is often out of context, is at risk of losing messages on the account.

“People know that our message shouldn’t be lost,” he says of both aesthetically designed posts and memes. Content consumers choose for themselves what reaction (or action) they will take from the post. This strengthens the connection with the content.

“I need your thoughts, not your tears,” he says.

And just because something is humorous or not generally considered intellectual, in the sense that it should not be welcomed in the world of digital activists, especially the Palestinian world. There is none.

“Why does the meme lose our trust? Even when Israel is bombing us-this is dark-but I need this as humor.”

If you ride the waves, ride correctly

During the 11-day war last May, followership of Eye on Palestine surged by nearly 500% in a week. Accounts of several other prominent Palestinian activists have seen a significant increase in followers as well. For Mahmood, this phenomenon was not a trend, but evidence that information-hungry individuals were trying to meet their needs.

He recognizes that some people, both creators and consumers, are only riding the waves for exploitative reasons, but he doesn’t pay much attention to them. For him, if their content is accurate, it is an action against intent.

But he says it’s often pretty easy to find fake activism.

“Many people [who ride the wave] There is no right discourse and no exposure to international politics, “he says.

It does not suggest that a degree in international law is required to participate in conversations in Palestine, but he does not have a professional political background and well-meaning people give Mike to the locals. Seems to suggest. Still, it is important to pay attention to the peculiarities of the language.

“In Arabic, many people yahoudiTo explain the Zionists — this means Jewish — ”he says, noting the difference in language. While Jews belong to the Jewish faith, Zionists believe in the establishment and development of the state of Israel as the home of the Jews.

According to Mahmood, the problem lies in the translation.

“People who do not know this nuance will be translated directly from Arabic and will use the word” Jew “instead of” Zionist “. Of course, that changes the whole meaning, “he says.

Also, because the internet and screenshots are endless, there is little that experts on this topic (such as Mahmoud) can do to correct incorrect information or change its impact on the Palestinian story.

“Lies can never be covered. Eventually, these people [likes, followers], We can’t change that. ”

Accountability is the key

For those interested in talking more about Palestine in the digital space, Mahmood has two important tips to share.

“First, we need to maintain good resources. We chat with the best Palestinian journalists across the group, so we know how to validate our information,” he says.

For him, the keyword is Palestinian.

“Don’t trust the Hebrew media,” he emphasizes.

“They see security, cameras, and troops, so people can’t refute it. So people think they would have seen it if it happened. But they lie. And we know it. We are not dependent on their media. ”

[NOTE: *Name has been changed due to the interviewee’s fear of increased attacks against Palestinian digital activists, both online and off.]

Source: TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/how-the-internet-s-leading-account-on-palestine-maintains-its-message-53741?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss How Palestinian Internet Major Accounts Maintain Messages

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