Why are all eyes on Rafah going viral on social media?

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Group Join Now

NInstagram's first 45 million users, including celebrities such as Bella Hadid and Nicola Coughlin, shared an AI-generated photo depicting tent camps for displaced Palestinians and a slogan that read “All eyes on Rafah”, according to Instagram's tally as of Wednesday afternoon.

The sharing of the post comes amid international criticism of Rafah, which is located in the southern Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt, and has been the target of heavy bombardment by Israeli forces. Military strikes set shelters ablaze, prompting Palestinians to dig through charred remains in hopes of rescuing survivors. At least 45 Palestinians have been killed so far. Rafah was previously considered a humanitarian zone for civilians.

Sarah Jackson, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, tells TIME that Internet activism dates back to the '90s, when the leaders behind the Zapatista rebellion used to share information about what was happening on the ground. . But for now, Instagram appeals to activists as a platform for social change because of the visual aspect of the app, allowing users to share both videos and photos.

More from TIME

“One of the really important things we have to acknowledge is that many Palestinian journalists are using Instagram to share what's happening on the ground. We know that many of these journalists are directly It's been targeted and censored because of it, but it's been a platform that's been popular with them,” says Jackson.

Jackson pointed out that many social media activists may have difficulty sharing images from Gaza due to algorithmic guidelines that mask graphic content. Instagram says that while it understands why people share this type of content in some cases, it encourages people to caption photos with warnings about graphic violence in line with its community guidelines. .

Read more: After 45 civilians were killed in the bombing, Israel continues to attack Rafah

Users may have found a solution by sharing the AI ​​image. “A lot of the images from Earth are really graphic and scary,” she says. “It's getting harder and harder for people to document what's actually happening…and when great images are documented, they're often censored at the platform level. ..it makes sense that people will turn to AI.”

Instagram user @shahv4012 was the first to share the post “All eyes on Rafah” on his story. Some have criticized the use of AI for the image. “There are people who are not satisfied with the image and template, I apologize if I have made any mistakes to you all,” the user said in an Instagram story. “whatever. [you do]Now do not despise the case of Rafah, spread it so much that they tremble and fear the spread of all of us.

The slogan on the photo was likely inspired by Richard Peppercorn, the WHO representative for Gaza, who had previously said that “all eyes” were on what was happening in Rafah.

While some have pointed out that sharing an AI image doesn't mean the user is fully educated about what's going on in Rafah, Jackson says that if the goal is to spread awareness, and share To say that someone is “part of a community that cares about this issue,” then posting a photo on their story is beneficial.

Israel's decision to launch its military operation in Rafah comes two days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to halt its planned attack on Rafah, and world leaders. It has been largely criticized by

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he is “outraged” by Israeli attacks in Rafah. “These operations must stop. There is no safe zone for Palestinian civilians in Rafah. I demand full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire,” Macron shared on X on Monday. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire and compliance with the ICJ order.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the deaths as tragic. More than 36,000 Palestinians and nearly 1,500 Israelis have been killed since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023.

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Group Join Now

Leave a Comment