Twitter and other social networking sites, for better or worse, continue to significantly impact the way in which people receive and perceive information.
While a tweet may be limited to 120 characters, it nonetheless has the ability to advocate truth or perpetrate lies, while completely altering the world in which we live.
Two photos tweeted in the past 24 hours, have unfortunately been circulating information that has been proven to be completely false and rooted in lies.
The first picture, tweeted by Khulood Badawi (@KhuloodBadawi) and later by Diana Alzeer (@ManaraRam), depicts a Gaza child who was allegedly killed by an Israeli air strike on the night of March 10th. It was proven to have originated in 2006 and to have had nothing at all to do with current Israeli actions, the IDF blog reported.
While the photo was proved to be completely false, it nonetheless became the top tweet for #Gaza, with over 300 retweets.
“Further research revealed that the photo was taken in 2006 by Reuters, and that the girl, initially thought to have been killed in an Israeli air strike, was injured by falling off a swing. When confronted with this information, Alzeer stated that the photo was taken last night and forwarded to the press that day,” the IDF continued.
The Reuters photo, which was taken on August 9, 2006, was originally released with an incorrect caption, and then corrected a day later:
The correction read: “A Palestinian man carries the body of three year-old Raja Abu Shaban, in Gaza August 9, 2006. The three-year-old girl who had been reported killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza on Wednesday actually died of an accident, Palestinian medical workers said on Thursday. Workers at Gaza’s Shifa hospital said on August 10, 2006 that the initial mistake over the cause of death appeared to have arisen because the girl’s corpse was brought in at the same time as the bodies of the gunmen. Reuters/Mohammed Salem.”
The original tweets, however, have already been picked up by hundreds of others and continue to circulate around the web, despite having been proved to be false.
A second photo tweeted Maissam Nablussi (@Nablussi), allegedly showing an aerial strike in Gaza today, was also proven to be completely unrelated to the current round of violence and dates back to 2009, the IDF blog explained.
The photo was revealed to have first appeared on various websites, including that of Reuters, in 2009, following Operation Cast Lead, the IDF blog stated.