After Tel Aviv, Snapchat Highlights West Bank
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After Tel Aviv, Snapchat Highlights West Bank

Checkpoints, separation wall featured in social media initiative.

Two days after Snapchat received negative social media backlash for its “Tel Aviv Live” feed, it chose to feature The West Bank in its global “story” initiative.

The app, which is famous for allowing users to send pictures and videos that vanish within 10 seconds or less, experienced negative feedback that wouldn’t go away.

On Tuesday, as part of Snapchat’s “story” feature, which allows users from selected cities and events to post photos and videos that are curated and displayed on phones and tablets worldwide, those located in the Tel Aviv area were given the opportunity to showcase their city and its daily happenings to the app’s 30 million active users for 24 hours.

Among the images and recordings found in “Tel Aviv Live,” were several shots of the Mediterranean Sea beaches, a video showcasing the Carmel Market and an image captioned “peace” that featured a graffitied “Mohamed+Moshe” being encircled by a heart.

Many anti-Israel activists took to other social media forums to express their displeasure with Snapchat’s selection of Tel Aviv as a highlighted city. The hashtag #StopTelAvivLive on twitter began to trend with users calling the images “painful” and a “disgrace.” Some noted that in light of the anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, viewing these images “hurt.”

After several hundred online complaints, Snapchat released the following statement at 6:51 pm on July 8 on twitter:

Today, those in the West Bank are being given the opportunity to tell their “story.”

In one Snapchat story image, swimmers at the Dead Sea are shown. Another proudly showcases “the only Krusty Krab in the West Bank” and features a burger restaurant with life-sized Spongebob Squarepants character statues. A third displays street art in Ramallah.

The separation wall and checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank also make appearances. However, in contrast to Tuesday’s outcry, most of these images do not carry emotional commentary and are instead captioned with simple labels.

Snapchat could not be reached for comment regarding the proximity of “Tel Aviv Live” and “West Bank Live.”

Carly@jewishweek.org

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