Last week we took a look at how tech and culture site Mashable.com is reporting the war in Gaza. Hamas terrorists started that war with kidnappings, murders, and then by launching rockets from Palestinian civilian areas into Israeli civilian areas.
Mashable has reported the war almost entirely from the Hamas/Palestinian point of view, refusing to label Hamas as terrorists, and playing up civilian casualties in Palestinian areas while failing to report on the fact that Hamas’ tactics constitute war crimes.
Today, Mashable runs a story on how Hamas is “showing off” an armed drone that it claims is an Israeli craft that it shot down. While casting some doubt on the overall story, here is how Mashable reports casualty figures in the ongoing war.
The drone war between Hamas and Israel is playing out against a bloody conflict on the ground. The Israeli military has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in the last three weeks, according to Palestinian health officials. During the same period, 44 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died.
“…according to Palestinian health officials.”
That’s a key caveat, but Mashable fails to delve into it at all.
According to Hamas videos translated by MEMRI, the group instructs social media to report casualties in certain ways. Mashable appears to be following at least some of Hamas’ guidelines.
Following are excerpts from the guidelines:
“Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.
“Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation’s version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.
“Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.
Mashable, like most of the Western media, makes little to no distinction in its reporting between the number of Hamas operatives killed and true civilians killed. The Israeli point of view gets no pixels at Mashable.
Hamas also instructs its social media advocates to “Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.” Shorter Hamas: Stay away from Holocaust denial!
Hamas wants its social media advocates to emphasize Palestinian casualties in human terms.
“The narrative of life vs. the narrative of blood: [When speaking] to an Arab friend, start with the number of martyrs. [But when speaking] to a Western friend, start with the number of wounded and dead. Be sure to humanize the Palestinian suffering. Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation’s operations and its bombings of cities and villages.
That instruction in mind, take a look at this Mashable piece by Jon Snow, which we dissected last week. It is written entirely from the point of view of Palestinians, and especially Palestinian children. Any piece on Palestinian children should note what that society teaches them — namely, that killing Jews is their duty. Mashable never reports on videos like this, from Palestinian media, and it never reports that Hamas continues to publicly advocate for the total destruction of Israel.
Mashable appears to be following much of the Hamas social media playbook, including how it portrays pro-Palestinian protests in the West. Mashable reports on them with a neutral to positive take, ignoring or downplaying the strong evidence of ant-Semitism that pervades the protests.
Update: Mashable’s editorial position has consistently been anti-Russia in the Ukraine crisis. The site evidently doesn’t see all intolerant autocracies as equal.
Its man in Gaza, Jon Snow, had this bizarre take after the shootdown of MH17, which involved Russian technology and training.
Awful danger that the shooting down of flight MH17 will provide cover for an intensification of Israel's ground war in Gaza
— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) July 18, 2014
Update: Apparently Jon Snow knows nothing about Hamas’ abuse of journalists who report the truth.