Student-led Social Media Task Force Launched to Combat Disinformation
A diverse group of international students have banded together to use their networks and platforms to share the verified truth of Israel’s October 7 terror attack.
International students at Tel Aviv University have united in a remarkable effort to express their solidarity with Israel during these challenging times. In response to the ongoing conflict, the students, many with strong communications backgrounds, have formed a task force dedicated to disseminating accurate information on social media about the situation in Israel, with the goal of reaching out to the global community.
As the students state in their open letter announcing the launch of the initiative, "We decided to use our knowledge and international perspective to raise the awareness of societies worldwide. What is happening in Israel right now is a threat to all humans everywhere, and therefore all should unite against it. We stand with humanity. This is a war of humanity against terrorism, of good versus evil."
The latest episode of the Lowy Global Connection podcast featured TAU international master’s students Ari Spielman and Maria Elluli, two of the founders of the task force, who spoke about the initiative and the rationale behind it.
“We’re a group of very diverse students with different backgrounds, different religious backgrounds, nationalities and we are coming even with different political views,” said Maria, a student from Malta currently enrolled in the International MA in Security and Diplomacy program. “We are just trying to get the message out of what we are seeing on the ground. The lack of morality behind the intent and actions of October 7th has been blurred as a game of numbers is being waged in both the mainstream media and on social media. By focusing on telling the story of the victims, we distance ourselves from contributing to the statistical games that attempt to place morality on the 'side' with the most casualties, whilst prioritizing those who have been most affected by these attacks."
As Ari, an American student in the International MA in Environmental Studies program, added, “The task force is disseminating truthful information and fact-based information, because in war the first thing that dies is truth. We are verifying survivor accounts and uploading stories so that in the future … this can’t be something where it’s said it didn’t happen – because Holocaust denial, genocide denial … this is something that happens even in a day and age when we have verified photo information.”
The task force is working on engaging influencers and forming a social media strategy to better share with the world firsthand knowledge, stories, and facts. The students have already set up Instagram and TikTok accounts, where they are posting stories of victims and survivors of the terror attack. Every post is meticulously fact checked through multiple sources. The task force is also creating a content database as they analyze the online content disseminated since the attack on October 7, and members are using their international networks to raise awareness.
"We are always proud of the international student community at TAU, but we’re admittedly especially proud right now," says Maureen Adiri Meyer, the director of TAU’s The Lowy International School.
"We and the wider TAU community are trying to support this and other student-led initiatives in any way we can."
Follow the student-led TAU International Task Force on Instagram or TikTok:
See the task force’s linktree for more information.