Waves of hate and love for Israel on Twitter

Tuesday, December 06, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Israel came under concentrated assault on the popular social network Twitter over the weekend, with thousands of posters broadcasting messages with the tag "israelhates."

The "israelhates" tag was at one point attached to 0.15 percent of the millions of worldwide Twitter posts (or tweets) sent over the weekend, making it one of the top Twitter trends for that period. Israel's Channel 2 News ran a report stating that Israel was "under attack" on Twitter.

A day later, Avi Mayer, head of social media efforts for the Jewish Agency, decided to counter the message of hate with one of love. Mayer started sending tweets with the tag "israelloves." Less than 24 hours later, "israelloves" had been appended to 0.02 percent of all worldwide tweets, making it a leading trend and, more importantly, bumping the "israelhates" tag off the leader board.

It is significant to note that the response of one of Israel's leading advocates to a hateful message was a message of love. Mayer stressed to the Jerusalem Post that responding with a tag of "palestinehates" or something similar would be the natural impulse, but is not the Israeli or Jewish way.

Over the past two years, top Israeli institutions have become far more adept at utilizing online social networks to advocate for Israel and combat falsehoods regarding the Jewish state.

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