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Monday, March 16 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Rumors During War Time

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During the last war in Gaza, WhatsApp became a major tool for spreading rumors in Israel and throughout the Middle East. An old Hebrew expression evokes “Major Shmuati” as an army figure who spreads rumors – whether they be about the sexual orientation of politicians or undercover army maneuvers. In July 2014, thanks to social media, Major Shmuati was promoted. Since a lag exists before the mass media was able to report on casualties, people on the ground were able to start spreading information – and misinformation – about the numbers of casualties and even names of the dead, via the app – at lightning speed. In one case a family learned that their soldier son had been killed; later they found out it was untrue.
This phenomenon obviously raises questions of social responsibility and public morale during war time. As a global tech innovator, Israel can serve as an interesting test case.

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avatar for Lior Kodner

Lior Kodner

VP, Digital, Haaretz
I'm a specialist in product development and digital media. As the Chief Digital Officer for Haaretz, Israel’s most prestigious newspaper, I lead all of the Haaretz's new media endeavors from its business, technology, marketing and editorial aspects.

Monday March 16, 2015 12:30pm - 1:30pm CDT
JW Marriott Room 404