Reader Post: Wartime Etiquette for Social Media


Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 1.29.15 PMIt’s the 15th Day of Operation Protective Edge, and as our brave soldiers fight for the survival of our country, many of us are helping the cause via Social Media. There have been lists of ways to help: Facebook posts about donating underwear and socks to our soldiers on the front lines, Tweets with phone numbers of local pizzerias who will bring our soldiers a hot meal, and a recent post about how we can buy fish from the South to help one business hurting by the War.

Yet, with all the good that has been disseminated via social media, I’m still shocked by some of the things my friends think are appropriate to share on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter.

So, think of me as the Emily Post of social media, as I provide y’all with a refresher course on wartime etiquette for social media.

  1. Do use your reach and influence to give our fallen soldiers the respect that they deserve. Maccabi Haifa’s post encouraging their fans and followers to attend the funeral of fallen lone soldier Sean Carmelli resulted in more than 40,000 attendees at his burial. Now that’s a great use of social media.
  2.  Don’t use WhatsApp to spread rumors or information about the death or injury of a soldier.  Now, that one should be a no-brainer, but since more than one family heard the news about their son’s death via WhatsApp, it bears repeating.
  3. Do post bomb shelter selfies to your various social media platforms so that your family and friends know that you’re safe. I follow this Bomb Shelter selfie group on Facebook, and applaud the group’s founder for creating an outlet for people terrified during rocket attacks to cope with their fear.
  4. Don’t post Iron Dome selfies with a location stamp. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Iron Dome selfies to begin with, especially during wartime. I don’t really know why anyone would want to publicize to our enemy the exact location of one of our biggest assets in the fight against rocket attack. But, if you really insist of taking that selfie with Iron Dome in the background, at least have the common sense to disable the location stamp.
  5. Don’t doctor the front page of a reputable news outlet with satirical news about Israeli beachgoers watching Gaza airstrikes on giant screens, and then tweet it to the World. I’m all for satire and think The Onion is hilarious, but this type of satire is dangerous as thousands of people actually think it’s real.
  6. Do Photoshop yourself getting shot out of Iron Dome ala Benji Lovitt and Tweet to all of your friends. Cause that’s just funny stuff.

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