Contributed to BBC story on the use of social media for propaganda war.
Philip Howard, professor of communication at Central European University and University of Washington, says Hamas and the IDF both know that they have a wide audience, but that the bulk of their online followers come from overseas.
“The most strategically important part of the audience are the journalists who follow their accounts. They know that a well-placed tweet can help spin news coverage,” he adds.
Hamas has become more sophisticated in its use of social media for two reasons, says Mr Howard.
They want to reach out to journalists and leaders in the West and also try to remain engaged with young Palestinian supporters who may no longer see Hamas or the Palestinian Authority “as their best or only option”, he continues.