Snapchat maps reveal real-time disparity between Gaza and Tel Aviv ahead of Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire
Snapchat Maps became a real-time portal to the conflict in Gaza last week, with residents recording and uploading live clips of rockets and clouds of smoke to the app.
The video sharing platform has a feature where users can search for videos by location, so that anyone from anywhere in the world can see the clear difference between videos of people’s experiences in Gaza. and Tel Aviv downloaded during the same 24 hour period.
As Tel Aviv users watched TV uploading life photos as usual, videos from Gaza depicted neighborhoods destroyed by rocket fire.
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Palestinian users said it had become a vital platform to show the world what was going on, as Instagram was discovered removing posts and accounts without warning earlier this month.
It comes as a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip came into effect, after 11 days of fighting in which more than 250 people were killed – most of them Palestinians.
Mohammed is a graphic designer in Gaza who used Snapchat to share his experience. “This week we were scared because we heard the sounds of bombing around our house,” he said. I on Snapchat. “I was terrified when I was the flames and the clouds of smoke.”
He said he loves Snapchat because it allows users to take live photos and videos of what’s going on and allows it to reach the largest number of viewers with the built-in maps feature.
I saw through the function of the cards that the images and videos of Mohammed reached 231,000 people.
“People are looking for the truth because of the policy of Facebook and Instagram which restricts Palestinian content,” he added.
Salman shared a video of the aftermath of the Israeli bombing on Snapchat and with I.
A large cloud of dark gray smoke is seen billowing from a building in the distance.
“The phone lines and the Internet have been attacked,” he said.
Palestinian residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, claimed by Jewish settlers, shared their experiences on social media earlier this month in protest, but some found their posts, photos or videos deleted or their accounts blocked.
On Monday, 7amleh, a nonprofit focused on social media, received more than 200 complaints about deleted posts and suspended accounts linked to Sheikh Jarrah, Reuters reported.
Fighting between Israel and Palestinian fighters in Gaza began on May 10 after clashes with Israeli police at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during Ramadan, when Muslim worshipers protested against brutal tactics used by the Israeli authorities.
Dozens of Palestinian families have also been threatened with eviction from Sheikh Jarrah – a Palestinian neighborhood outside the walls of the Old City – by Jewish settlers.
Hamas began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, after which Israel responded with retaliatory airstrikes.
At least 243 people, including more than 100 women and children, have been killed in Gaza, according to its health ministry.
In Israel, 12 people, including two children, have been killed, according to its medical services.
It comes as images of Gaza were blurry on Google Maps for unknown reasons, preventing researchers from locating areas that faced the attacks and analyzing the destruction.
The site said it aimed to “regularly maintain cooling in densely populated places,” but the researchers stressed that this was not the case for Gaza and Israel.
Better quality images were available from other satellite imagery providers.
“Given the importance of current events, I see no reason why commercial images of this area should continue to be deliberately degraded,” said Bellingcat investigative reporter Nick Waters.