While the Israeli government has apologized for having “inadvertently issued a video link that had been sent for our perusal,” an Israeli government endorsed social networking tool, Give Israel Your United Support (GIYUS), is still promoting Caroline Glick‘s tasteless Flotilla satire video.
The GIYUS “alert” (which is sent to over 25,000 subscribers) reads:
GIYUS is “the online public diplomacy platform of Israel” according to a document (Word Document) found on a number of Israeli embassy websites and was first put into action during the 2006 Lebanon War.
An article on Ynetnews stated that:
GIYUS (Give Israel Your United Support) is a new project that has recently been released by the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) in order to balance anti-Israel sentiment expressed on the web and influence public opinion.
Megaphone, the program which GIYUS asks users to download, sends out links which appear as popups on users’ computers.
In 2006, Stuart Purvis wrote in The Guardian about his experience after installing Megaphone.
It did not take long for an alert to come through. A Foreign Office minister, Kim Howells, had issued a press statement condemning that day’s Palestinian rocket attack which killed an elderly Israeli and wounded other civilians. GIYUS wanted site users to “show your appreciation of the UK’s response”.
One click took me to a pre-prepared email addressed to Dr Howells, and a slot for me to personalise my comment. A test confirmed that the email would arrive at his office, as if I had spotted his comments on a news website, in this case Yahoo, and sent it to him with a supporting message. In the emails, there would be no indication of the involvement of GIYUS, although Howells may have been suspicious that so many people around the world had read the same Yahoo story about him and decided to email him. The Foreign Office confirms that emails were received last Wednesday but will not go into any more detail.
The GIYUS operation is designed to manipulate social media platforms and target pro-Israel traffic to certain articles, polls, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc…
While the Israeli government is attempting to backtrack on their promotion of Caroline Glick’s tasteless video which makes light of the IDF’s killing of nine peace activists, the “the online public diplomacy platform of Israel” is working hard to make the video a viral success on social media websites.