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February 6, 2016 / 27 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Survey: Terror Attack Snuff Videos Affect 80% of Children

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

(JNi.media) According to a new survey of parents in Israel, children who were exposed to the horrific photos and videos of terror attacks on social networks in October and November have developed symptoms of anxiety in public places. Also, according to the survey, children exposed to online videos are 1.5 times more traumatized and anxious than those exposed through other media.

Over the last three months, Israel experienced dozens of stabbing attacks, ramming by car, and stone throwing, saturating the media with appalling attacks across the country. Unlike past years, almost every attack was accompanied by countless real-time videos documenting details of these attacks from every angle. The Tom Company, which offers parents means to control their children’s Internet viewing, ordered a special survey to examine the impact that this new reality has had on the children of Israel. The survey was conducted online from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11 by Nielsen Israel, among 300 parents of children ages 8-15 (Jewish population only).

The Data that was uncovered is alarming: 64% of children exposed to the videos are afraid to leave the house, and 50% of parents of children who have expressed concern about the security situation restrict or prohibit watching the news.

The parents in the survey were asked, “How would you describe the level of exposure of your children to the security situation in recent weeks?” and “Through which media were your children exposed to the security situation in recent weeks?”

97% of parents of children ages 8-15 report that their children were exposed to the security situation in recent weeks, with exposure being greater among older children. 60% of parents of children ages 12-15 reported a great degree of exposure, compared with 38% of parents of children ages 8-11. Most of the exposure, regardless of the age of the child, came after talks with family members (70%), conversations at school (66%), and TV news (59%), especially among older children. About a third (28%) of the children were exposed to the security situation through online videos. Most of the videos are transmitted over Whatsapp and social networks such as Facebook.

68% of parents whose children were exposed to the security situation through Internet media, report great degrees of exposure, compared with 46% of children who are exposed to the security situation through traditional media. Children exposed through Internet media were more affected (expressed more concern or worry), compared with children exposed through traditional media (78% versus 68% respectively).

“The survey highlights once again what we have known for years — parents today have no real control over content that our children are exposed to,” said Yariv Pe’er, CEO of Tom, adding, “The direct exposure of of children ages 8-15 through the Internet today has led to a painful outcome in which one in three children is going through a trauma. This situation did not exist here before, this is a new problem that every parent must address and take responsibility for.”

On the issue of restricting video watching, almost all parents (92%) think that blocking the videos will reduce the anxiety children feel over the security situation, while 65% even believe that the obstruction would lead to significantly reducing anxiety.

“Parents must limit their children’s access to questionable content for their mental health and should not worry about the child’s loss of freedom of choice. Home computers are not protected from content unsuitable for children, but there are solutions that enable providing protection for children while continuing free browsing for parents. We can’t completely block or prevent our children’s access to videos, but you can minimize the damage. The security situation today creates a digital reverberation of each security event. The echo of this reverberation can and should be reduced for the safety of our children.”

Netanyahu: Terrorist Families to Lose Israeli Work Permits, But That’s Not All….

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Families of Arab terrorists will lose their permits to work in pre-1967 Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday during a visit to Gush Etzion.

An Arab clan or family “know that it has in its midst someone who is extreme or someone liable to attack,” Netanyahu explained, “and a family like that does not have the right to work in Israel.”

A number of Bedouin families in southern Israel have quietly contacted security personnel over the past weeks about relatives who were planning to carry out terror activities, according to sources who spoke with JewishPress.com. “There have been a number of parents, and in several cases, brothers or fathers or both, who have taken the initiative to call authorities and prevent attacks,” the sources said.

While it is certainly true that blocking the ability to work in Israel might hurt some Arab families, those with any deep or passionate ideological ties to terror are not likely to be disturbed by this turn of affairs. The Palestinian Authority government, and a number of foreign Arab governments guarantee generous monthly salaries to the families of any Arab who is injured, imprisoned or who dies as a “shahid” or “martyr” on the altar of attempting to murder an Israeli or Jew. Those payments, in fact, may be even higher than any monthly salary earned by the prospective “shahid” who might otherwise be seeking employment either in Israel or the PA.

In addition to revoking work permits and blocking others, the prime minister said that bypass roads may be built to circumvent the high-risk areas presented by the current wave of terror, such as the Gush Etzion junction.

Netanyahu went to pay his respects at the site, where numerous terror attacks have taken place in recent weeks. The latest one resulted in Sunday’s stabbing death of 21-year-old Hadar Buchris, z’l, who was laid to rest Monday in Jerusalem.

The prime minister was accompanied to the site by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan and other top officials. During the visit he met with Gush Etzion regional council head Davidi Pearl, Efral local council head Oded Ravivi and Kiryat Arba local council head Malachi Levinger.

Netanyahu told the officials other measures are in store for further tightening security as well: alongside the other actions, every vehicle driving with Palestinian Authority plates on the main roads will be inspected.

He also said the government is preparing to “deal with” the incitement being disseminated on social media, using ‘various means.’ However, Netanyahu did not elaborate, nor did he offer any explanation.

The prime minister told angry Gush Etzion residents that security forces in the region have been increased, and enter Arab towns and villages to make numerous arrests.

“There is no limit on the activities of the IDF and the security services,” Netanyahu said. “On the contrary, there is full [government] support, and that is important.”

He added that during the second intifada, there were hundreds of deaths each year with armed attackers and suicide bombers. “We don’t have that now, and we are doing everything we can to ensure it won’t happen.”

During the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield that was carried out to trim back the terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria, he reminded the residents there were ‘terrorist command centers, and thousands of armed men’ in the territories. Because of Defensive Shield, Israel now operates freely in Judea and Samaria “to act against plots, attackers or weapons factories,” he said.

The Epidemic of Arab Terror and its Cure

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

When everyone began trying to understand the waves of Arab violence and terror hitting Israel, all sorts of explanations were proposed.

Personally, I’m sticking with simple bloodlust, as I’ve pointed out before.

Yes, there is the Islamic and Arab cultural baggage that fuels their fervor, but it’s always been bloodlust that sends them over the edge, moving from slogans to concrete actions.

But the other question is, what ignites this Sudden Jihad Syndrome, where repeatedly, a middle-class Arab from Jerusalem or other Israeli cities, wakes up and decides to stab a Jew or run him or her over?

I’m pointing out that the terrorists are middle-class Arabs for a reason.

The Arab scholar Bassam Tawil began looking into the family lives of these terrorists. He visited their homes and discovered that they didn’t live in poverty, they weren’t uneducated people, they weren’t jobless.

In Tawil’s words, they were “leading comfortable lives, with unlimited access to education and work.” They were from normative, middle class Arab homes.

Most were educated, popular, good-looking, had jobs, and their families are stable and financially secure members of their communities.

So what drives a normal, middle-class Arab young man or woman to suddenly wake up, take a knife out of his mother’s kitchen and get in his car to go kill Jews?

Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” has been on my mind for a while now (I don’t have a copy in front of me, someone borrowed it and didn’t return it). Gladwell talks about “epidemics” and what makes them happen – what is the impetus that “jolts” a stable situation out of equilibrium – in our case, a low level of violence, to almost daily stabbings and vehicular attacks by a particular kind of person, who might otherwise sit next to you on the bus or light rail on the way to work, or serve you in the store or restaurant you frequent.

What triggered my memory is a story Gladwell tells in his book of a suicide epidemic that hit Micronesia, also known as the Werther effect. It is a spike and cluster of suicides in a community that follow a well-publicized suicide.

Wikipedia describe it as:

The Werther effect not only predicts an increase in suicide, but the majority of the suicides will take place in the same or a similar way as the one publicized. The more similar the person in the publicized suicide is to the people exposed to the information about it, the more likely the age group or demographic is to die by suicide. The increase generally happens only in areas where the suicide story was highly publicized. Upon learning of someone else’s suicide, many people decide that action is appropriate for them as well, especially if the publicized suicide was of someone in a similar situation as them.

There’s another similar epidemic, now called the Columbine effect, where the killers idealize the original massacre, try to duplicate it, and more so, try to improve upon it to reach it’s idealized form as they imagine it.

I can’t imagine a more fitting description for what we are facing in Israel.

An Arab runs some Jews over, gets out of the car and then tries to stab the Jews, the Arab terrorist is then shot and killed, or alternatively, an Arab takes his mother’s knife, walks around, stabs a Jew, the terrorist is then shot and killed. The story gets elaborated on, that the Jews planted the knife, or the breaks failed. The video/photo/story is then posted to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Attack. Kill. Post. Watch. Repeat.

One of the proposed solutions in communities where these suicide epidemics hit, is for the local media to stop reporting the incidents, and that helps end the epidemic. Of course, in the age of social media, that’s damn near impossible, so the situation just feeds on itself, until some other factor changes, and it peters out.

Gladwell discusses three possible areas of change: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context.

The Law of the Few: These are the trend-setters that first start an idea and the social connectors who get the idea out to their wider group of friends and followers.

The Stickiness Factor: This is the slogan. A contagious message connected to the act that keeps the act in mind. It could be some minor tweak to a well-worn message that suddenly gives it impact and for some reason turns it into an earworm that won’t get out of your head.

The Power of Context: This is what you see around you. People act and react based on the physical and social environmental cues around them. Our current situation fits this formula (and the previous waves fit similar formulas).

The Arabs see cool, middle-class Arabs suddenly getting up and killing a Jew using one of two easy methods, the youth gets killed, it gets posted on the internet by key social media connectors, and then widely distributed and watched – the Law of the Few.

The Arabs link the attacks to a slogan – in this wave’s case, the Jews are changing the status quo (which every time Netanyahu says that he isn’t, but uses those words, he triggers them even more). A second message has also developed which is “the Jews planted the knife” – The Stickiness Factor.

And finally, the Arab community hears repeatedly from their imams and in their mosques, on social media and at home, how the Jews are executing innocent Arabs and planting knives near their bodies, and they must defend Al Aqsa which the Jews are destroying. The returned bodies get a hero’s funerals. Other terrorists get streets and schools named after them by the PA government, and their jailed terrorists get healthy salaries. Those are the constant environmental cues around them, telling them that Arabs must take action against the Jews, and it’s OK and even heroic to do so – the Power of Context.

These three rules defining what pushes an act over the tipping point, turning it into an epidemic, can perhaps also provide clues on how to end the epidemic.

The Law of the Few: We have four “guilty parties” in this case, the people videoing the events, the people posting the videos to the “right” groups and pages, the social media platforms and the newspapers. You can’t have newspapers not report the latest terrorist attack, but perhaps they could be less gruesome about their reporting. Similarly, the popular social media platforms and video sharing platforms could be told to block and remove the videos. But alternative social-sharing platforms will just pop-up or become popular, if the current ones start restricting usage.

One could go after the people making and posting the videos, but again, it’s a widespread phenomena.

So we may be stuck with limited ability to affect this rule, but it’s worth looking into, nonetheless.

The Stickiness Factor: The message is the message. Proving it false clearly doesn’t work, and in fact even antagonizes them more, perhaps due to the cognitive dissonance it evinces.

We may be stuck with no ability to change their message, and the best move is to not even discuss it, or try to react to it – Netanyahu should not have even talked about the status quo or the Temple Mount.

The Power of Context: The environment is something we actually can change and affect.

If no terrorist bodies are returned, they can’t hold public celebrations.

If imams are inciting hatred and publicly repeating the message then isolate and arrest them.

If the messages are being transferred through social media and video sharing platforms, then identify those audiences most likely to be affected and temporarily shut down access, ranging from WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube, to internet and cellular access in specific neighborhoods and phones until things calm down.

When Israel put up the temporary wall in Jeruslaem and threatened to revoke residency rights from the terrorists and their families, that changed the environment, and caused those who understood what that meant for their lives to influence and control those family members more susceptible to the terror meme.

Israel disrupted the environment.

Israel non-violently forced the families to change the conversation. They still hate Jews, and they aren’t any less scared of dying, but the conversation now also says there’s too high a price to pay for heroically acting on the terror, and the rest of the family would suffer unacceptably.

A comparable price tag can be found for the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, which would similarly disrupt the conversational environment that provides positive context for the attacks.

We’re facing an epidemic of terror.

But now that we understand it, we have the tools to control it and keep it in check, if we’re prepared to use them.

Cabinet to Talk on Dealing with Radical Muslim Groups

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will discuss with the Cabinet Sunday on how to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Movement in an effort to restore calm and end the violence that has spread deep into the urban areas of Israel.

(An earlier version of this article incorrectly state that the Prime Minister would meet with radical Islamic leaders.)

Hundreds of policemen have been deployed through the country to prevent violence, Hundreds of Arabs from Kalkilya, adjacent to the Tel Aviv metropolitan city of Kfar Saba, approached the high-speed highway 6 (Kvish 6), where motorists were pelted by rocks this week.

The police closed the road for several minutes before restoring order. Part of Highway 444 near Netanya was closed after Arabs from the city of Taybeh rioted for at least the second time this week.

The repaid escalation of violence beyond eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria has clearly alarmed the country.

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced Saturday night that in addition to his attempt to deal with radicla Islamic violence, 250 reserve Border Police have been mobilized.

He stated: The three companies will reinforce the Israel Police in Jerusalem and throughout the country. An increased presence is a primary preventive and deterrent measure.

Security forces also are increasing surveillance over social media, which is being used as it was in the Arab Spring revolutions to promote violence.

The officer of the Prime Minister also said that the Prime Minister told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday that “he expects the Palestinian Authority to stop its wild and mendacious incitement, which is causing the current wave of terrorism.

The statement added:

Kerry said he is aware of the fact that it is Israel’s policy to maintain the status quo and not change it.

ISIS Threatens ‘Countdown to Terror’ in Rome

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization said Wednesday it has begun its “countdown” to terror in Rome.

The radical Islamist group organization posted photographs to ISIS-linked accounts on the Twitter social networking site, saying “waiting for the zero hour.”

The photos are taken in the streets of Rome with a paper bearing the message with the hashtag “ #Islamic State in Rome “ held up to the camera. Some are handwritten in Arabic, some are in Italian, saying, “We are in your streets,” the RT news site reported Wednesday. A number of messages on Twitter were posted in English as well.

One of the photos appears to have been taken at the Colosseum in Rome; others seem to have been taken in Milan. Some Italian Twitter users are claiming the tweets are fake and the photos are as well.

The Italian government, meanwhile, is taking no chances and has increased security around Rome, particularly at strategic sites and landmarks that could be targeted by the group. Security officials established a counter-terrorism task force months ago with Albania, following the “Charlie Hebdo” and Hyper Cacher massacres in Paris this past January.

Obama Rolls Red Carpet for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Run

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama appears to be rolling out the red carpet for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to launch her campaign for the presidency on the Democratic ticket in 2016.

Obama told reporters in Panama during a news conference at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday, “I think she would be an excellent president.”

The former first lady was a “formidable candidate” against him when they were both running for the Democratic nomination in 2008, he noted. The president added that Clinton will have strong messages to deliver if she decides to run.

Which she has.

Media have already been informed the official campaign announcement is to be made some time today (Sunday, April 12) with the release of an online video via social media – a “new type of campaign launch,” as Fox News noted – to be followed with a handful of small-group events in Iowa.

On Saturday, Clinton’s campaign team circulated a memo entitled “We Are Hillary For America” to her supporters listing guiding principles. The memo explains the aim of the campaign is to “give every family, every small business, and every American a path to lasting prosperity by electing Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States. This campaign is not about Hillary Clinton and not about us – it’s about the everyday Americans who are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families,” the memo reads.

It ends by telling supporters, “We are guided by Hillary’s bedrock values of hard work, service, fairness, and faith in the American Dream.”

That last is a statement that will undoubtedly face intense scrutiny from countless op-ed writers, bloggers and other columnists who have long memories of Clinton’s track record in other arenas.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is also expected to announce his intention to run for the GOP nomination next week, most probably on Monday.

Social Media War against ISIS

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. is using more than 300 of its social media accounts to monitor and try to counter the use of Twitter, Facebook and other sites to recruit people, mostly youth, into radical Islam and jihad.

“There are 90,000 pro-ISIL tweets or other social media responses every day,” State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

“We’re definitely beaten by volume, but we don’t believe that ISIL is an invincible force on social media,” she added. “So what we’re working on now is aggregating and curating and amplifying existing content, so that means utilizing the 300-plus State Department social media accounts run by embassies, consulates, and individuals. It means also coordinating that with the social media accounts of other government agencies. It means expanding and giving more tools to the CSCC.

“We have a new head of CSCC who will be leading this effort to continue to improve our coordination and make sure we’re approaching this in the smartest, most strategic way. And as you mentioned, there are obviously best practices that we can learn from other countries. And part of this is not only sharing that but also determining who the right voices are.”

The good news from Foggy Bottom is that the experts understand they cannot use an American approach to counter a Middle East mentality.  Psaki said, “We certainly are not under the illusion that the United States is the best voice in many of these cases.”

If they had taken that approach towards the “peace process” long ago they would look a lot less dumb today.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/social-media-war-against-isis/2015/02/18/

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