Snapchat’s Tel Aviv feature ignites social media outrage

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The Snapchat Inc. logo is displayed for a photograph on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s and laptop computer in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Snapchat Inc. is raising money that could value the company at as much as $19 billion.
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Snapchat users had the opportunity on Tuesday to see the featured story: Tel Aviv. A Snapchat story is a photo-sharing compilation of user-submitted videos and images. Tel Aviv’s Snapchat story strung together hundreds of videos and pictures painting a romantic narrative of life in Tel Aviv.

This evoked a response from Twitter users who Tweeted @snapchat and with #stoptelavivlive trending. As one user argued, “Why don’t you show us what’s on the other side of the wall?”

“July 8th marks the first anniversary of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The 50-day conflict began when Israel launched an intense air and ground assault aiming to end persistent rocket fire from Gaza,” writes the Guardian. In effect, coming almost at the exact anniversary of the conflict, Snapchat’s coverage of Tel Aviv seemed only to exacerbate tensions and sentiment from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Users felt this narrative disrespected and ignored the Palestinian vantage.

Snapchat responded to the outpouring of tweets and is now featuring “West Bank Live.” The Snapchat Story is live today and hosting pictures of life in the West Bank with videos of street art, beaches, and broad shots of city architecture.

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