We’ve reached the stage of social media where actual nations are using emojis to explain what is happening in a conflict they are involved in.
Take for instance Israel who are currently involved in an ongoing conflict in Gaza, which started a week ago and is now said to have claimed 200 lives – including 59 children and 35 women – and left 1,305 injured according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
The devastation that the region has seen in the past few days has shocked the world with many calling for the violence to come to an end. However, social media is not always the best platform to express such sentiments, especially on a subject so sensitive.
Israel though has taken a slightly unorthodox approach to explain their side of the situation. On Monday, the official Twitter account for Israel posted 12 tweets featuring 3,168 rocket emojis.
The account added that the emojis represented the amount of rockets that Hamas has fired at Israeli citizens and added: “Make no mistake. Every rocket has an address. What would you do if that address was yours?”
The timing of the tweets comes after Al Jazeera reported that 42 Palestinians, including 10 children, were killed on Sunday. On the same day, an Israeli airstrike also destroyed a building that housed offices for Al Jazeera and the Associated Press. Around 40,000 people in Gaza have been displaced since the conflict and bombing escalated on 10th May. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post reports that 10 Israelis have been killed and around 191 have been injured.
Israel’s unorthodox approach to social media at such as sensitive time has predictably received criticism.
This is hardly the first time that the Israeli social media accounts have used emojis or meme formats during the conflict.
Israel also used Twitter to criticise American supermodel Bella Hadid who joined a pro-Palestine protest at the weekend and accused her of being in favour of eliminating the Jewish state.
Israel also used their TikTok account to further criticise Hadid.
It remains to be seen what can be done to step the violence. The UN have called for a ceasefire but the US has backed Israel’s right to defend itself – but using emojis and memes on social media is unlikely to do anyone any favours.