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Military strikes go viral: Israel is live-Tweeting its own offensive into Gaza

Smoke rises following an Israeli attack on Gaza City, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.

Smoke rises following an Israeli attack on Gaza City, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. // Hatem Moussa/AP

The Persian Gulf War marked a major change in the way Americans experienced combat from their living rooms. It was the first time civilians got to see explosions going off under computerized crosshairs, in grainy black-and-white -- a development that led people to marvel at war's growing resemblance to video games. Then came YouTube. Suddenly, Internet users had on-demand access to a wealth of helmetcam footage -- this time in color -- taken by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, for the most part, you had to dig it up yourself if you wanted to watch.

Now we've arrived at the latest iteration in digital warfare: when military operations are liveblogged in real time, and the updates are delivered right to your social newsfeed.

Over the past six hours, Israel's military has been hammering Gaza with a barrage of missiles. The IDF's public relations team, meanwhile, has just as steadily been covering the offensive -- updating its Twitter handle, @IDFSpokesperson, with the play-by-play on Operation Pillar of Defense. Within moments of the opening salvo, IDF officials announced that they'd killed the top operative in Hamas' armed services

Read more at The Atlantic

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