The Israeli Defense Force's Operation Pillar of Defense has been the first military campaign to have been announced and narrated through Twitter. Now, Hamas are following suit...

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When two friends created a live blogging platform enabling users to share “what’s happening” in 140 characters, they could not have imagined the platform would be used by opposing forces to tweet and live-blog their military operations.

Since the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) began Operation Pillar of Defence in Gaza they have been doing just that, providing a running commentary of their campaign. Beginning with the tweet:

They went on to announce the progress of their campaign:

Not to be outdone, the military arm of Hamas, the Alqassam Brigades have been engaged in retaliatory tweets in addition to their retaliation on the ground, saying:

Twitter’s policy states that they will ban “threats of violence”, but they have yet to suspend the accounts of the two sides in what is an increasingly violent situation both on- and offline.

Historically hesitant to intervene or censor the use of the platform, this unprecedented development of the use of social media to declare war and continue with psychological warfare this is a pivotal moment for Twitter to decide where the limits of their tolerance lie.