Gaza war also being waged in cyberspace

Gaza war also being waged in cyberspace

JERUSALEM — On the day that an Israeli artillery strike hit his neighborhood in Gaza City , sending a hail of shrapnel through his house and his uncle’s, Sameh Akram Habeeb went online and filed a bleak report:

“Thanks to God, we all safe but I don’t know what will happen next,” Habeeb, 23, wrote Saturday on his blog, gazatoday.blogspot.com. Readers responded with a flurry of antiwar comments from Greece , Iran , Tunisia and the United States .

Habeeb, a soft-spoken journalist with a degree in English literature, may not consider himself an activist, but he’s on the front lines of the vibrant and at times hostile cyberwar over Gaza , a battle for public opinion that’s raged in seemingly every corner of the Internet since the conflict began last month.

An enormous number of people around the world are using blogs, YouTube and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to register their support or opposition to the war. Thousands of images — from Palestinians under siege in Gaza to Israeli neighborhoods that have been hit by Hamas rocket attacks — have filled photo-sharing sites such as Flickr and Picasa.

It doesn’t get any simpler than http://www.israel-vs-palestine.com, where visitors can just pick sides. With nearly 500,000 votes cast, the race is a virtual tie, while the Web site’s server is overloaded.

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