prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Archive for November, 2012

The Future of Modern Warfare?

Posted by prof e on November 17, 2012

No, I’m not talking about the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II this week, and the $500 million that players dropped on the first day. Rather, I’m talking about real conflict with real casualties, and tweets like this…

Some numbers from the last 3 days: 492 rockets fired from #Gaza hit #Israel + 245 Iron Dome interceptions = 737 rockets fired at us. @IDFSpokesperson

And this photo tweeted two days ago…

And this video posted to Youtube…


If you watch the IDF YouTube channel you’ll also find a video that alleges to show Palestinian children taunting Israeli soldiers attempting to provoke a response for the cameras.

In a world where public support is necessary for democratic societies to engage in armed conflict, propaganda is a necessary and essential part of the campaign. According to an editorial in the Washington Post,

The @IDFSpokesperson Twitter account, encouraging followers to show support for the strikes, tweeted Wednesday: “More than 12,000 rockets hit Israel in the past 12 years. RT if you think #Israel has the right to defend itself.” More than 5,500 people have retweeted it.

The social media campaign being waged by the Israeli Defense Force is part PR campaign, part political posturing, part warning intended to minimize civilian casualties, and part intimidation, e.g. “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”

Hamas, the pro-Palestinian group responsible for the rocket attacks on Israel, has responded with their own campaign, including the twitter hashtag #GazaUnderAttack. Civilians, especially children, killed by Israeli retaliatory strikes are put on display for the TV cameras as mourners wail in the street.

The Middle East, post Arab Spring, is still a fractious place where opposing forces battle on a daily basis. While some of the conflict is physical, much of it takes place in the media where the battle is fought for the hearts and minds of both regional and global witnesses. And more and more of it is happening in near-real-time.

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Posted in 1st amendment, interactive media, journalism, new media, politics, PR, social media | 5 Comments »

Is it real, or is it Photoshopped?

Posted by prof e on November 7, 2012

With cell-phone cameras everywhere, and digital photo sharing sites and apps like instagram so easy to use, we are seeing more photos than ever before. And while most of these photos are true depictions of real events, others are intended to mislead or deceive. Take, for example, the photos at right that came out in the days surrounding the “Superstorm” named Sandy. Of the four photos at right, only one is “true” or “real.” Can you guess which one?

Not only are fake photos easy to create, they are even easier to distribute. One cleverly made photo can go viral via social media like twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.

People with Photoshop skills can make composite photos that often defy detection. Photoshop has even become a verb, as in, “I ‘photoshopped’ him out of the picture and put Josh in his place.”

Photoshopped images in advertisements have even attracted the attention of European lawmakers who are threatening to ban the use of Photoshop or digital retouching in ads targeting those under the age of 16.

Oh, and by the way, the only photo that depicts Sandy in an accurate way is the shot of the roller coaster surrounded by water. The photo of Lady Liberty is from the movie The Day After. The shark is photoshopped, and the photo at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was taken in September.

Posted in new media, photography, social media | 10 Comments »