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17 Okt 2023

Nikki Mccann Ramirez, Rolling Stone

Israel: Government runs graphic social media ads to rally support for Gaza siege targeting users in EU and USA; incl. co. comment

Destruction in Palestine

"Israel Runs Graphic Social Media Ads to Rally Support for Gaza Siege"

...The video, from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is one of several advertisements and promoted social media posts produced by Israel’s government to gin up support for their ongoing offensive against Gaza...

Israel’s digital campaign to win over public support includes a series of graphic ads targeted toward Americans and Europeans.

Social media users have reported seeing the ads on sites like YouTube and X (formerly Twitter), as well as on popular mobile phone games and mobile apps. A review of data available on Google’s Ad Transparency Center found that since Oct. 9, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken out at least 45 ads through Google, YouTube’s parent company. It is not possible at this time to ascertain how many people have been served the ads, as Google has a 90-day wait period for impression metrics, but other social media metrics point to the amount of attention they’re getting...

Dozens of other videos, many of them featuring extremely graphic imagery, have been uploaded to the ministry’s page and garnered tens of thousands of views. 

On X, the official account for the State of Israel has paid to promote posts depicting the devastation of Hamas’ attacks...

X responded to a request for comment from Rolling Stone with a message indicating that they were “busy” and to “check back later.” A representative from Google noted that the company’s ad policy prohibits advertisements with political content or references to death from being served to kids or on videos aimed at children. Google clarified that the ad stylized as a children’s cartoon had been “appropriately labeled and is not serving on made for kids content or YouTube kids.”...

In contrast to Israel’s widespread paid digital presence, social media companies have been accused of suppressing Palestinian or pro-Palestinian voices expressing opposition to Israel’s retaliation against civilians in the Gaza Strip, which has been under an intense military blockade by Israel and Egypt since 2014. 

On Monday, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, responded to accusations it was suppressing pro-Palestinian content by claiming the issue had been related to a bug that “affected accounts equally around the globe and had nothing to do with the subject matter of the content — and we fixed it as quickly as possible.”