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A Tale of Two Cities: How Snapchat Maps Expose Contrast Between Gaza & Tel Aviv

Gazans' Snap Maps are about houses razed, bodies being collected & Israelis are posting about having a good time.

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Snapchat, an instant-messaging App known for its filters has unironically become a tool where users are exploring and tracking unfiltered, real-time content being put out by Palestinians on hand and Israelis on another. How? Let's find out.

Israel's bombardment and attacks against Gaza and surrounding areas has entered its 24th day.

As Palestinians have documented the ongoing massacre through different digital mediums, accounts have been taken down on X, others have been shadow-banned on Instagram — here, Snapchat fairs differently so far.

The Quint tracked Gaza and Tel Aviv regions on Snapchat maps for 24 hours and more and noticed stark differences. But first, what is 'Snap Map'? How is it showing different stories from different cities?

Snap Map uses mobile phone technology to find out where its users are located and then draws them on a map in real time.

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One can browse the map to see where your friends are geographically while also view stories from other Snapchat users. On the upper-right corner of Snap Map is the 'hotspot' option which focuses wherever major events, breaking news are taking place and people have been posting from these areas.

Gazans' Snap Maps are about houses razed, bodies being collected & Israelis are posting about having a good time.

Snapchat Maps when the hotspot feature is selected.

(Photo: Aliza Noor/Snapchat)

Parties in Tel Aviv; Bombing and Dead Bodies in Gaza

Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 30 October, Monday said that ceasefire in Israel's war against Hamas "will not happen," as the UN warned not enough aid was coming in to meet "unprecedented humanitarian needs."

The drastic situation on ground in Gaza and Tel Aviv tells different stories.

The residents of Tel Aviv have been posting snapchat stories about their time spent at the malls and swimming pools. Several posted about their car drives in the afternoon and at night.
  • Snapchat stories posted from Tel Aviv.

    (Photo: Aliza Noor/Snapchat)

On the other hand, in Gaza and surrounding areas, these residents have been posting about collecting the dead bodies of their beloved killed in the airstrikes, of lining up in huge queues to get their share of water for the day.

Some residents posted videos of the destruction caused by the airstrikes and attack in real-time as well.

  • Gazans charging their mobile phones as electricity has been cut.

    (Photo: Aliza Noor/Snapchat)

Palestinians have also been posting about the dilapidated living conditions they have found themselves in after their houses have been razed to the ground due to the airstrikes.

The World Health Organization had also issued a grave warning that Gaza was on the brink of a “public health catastrophe” due to overcrowding, widespread displacement, and severe damage to water and sanitation facilities.

In a statement, Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qedra had said that up to 3,150 cases of diseases were recorded in a single day since the violence that erupted on 7 October.

Gazans' Snap Maps are about houses razed, bodies being collected & Israelis are posting about having a good time.

Gazan residents in makeshift tents.

(Photo: Aliza Noor/Snapchat)

Gazans' Snap Maps are about houses razed, bodies being collected & Israelis are posting about having a good time.

Gazan residents in makeshift tents.

(Photo: Aliza Noor/Snapchat)

Meanwhile, a lifestyle influencer whose username is 'Nazmi in Gaza' has been consistently posting daily updates from the ground, ranging from their daily struggles of fighting for their basic needs and echoes the emotions of Gazan population who are documenting lest they are forgotten and whitewashed.

  • Nazmi documents the lived realities of Gazans regualrly.

    (Photo: Aliza Noor/Snapchat)

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On the other hand, aish.com which focuses mainly on Jewish content posted how Israelis have been cooking and baking for their soldiers.

Save the Children's founder Jason Lee, on 30 October, said that "one child dies in Gaza every 10 minutes," due to the current airstrikes and attacks by Israeli soldiers.

'Israel's Propaganda Failed on Snap Maps'

Several users on X (formerly Twitter) posted about how stories from Snap maps have helped in revealing the stark differences of daily lives of Israelis and Gazans and disagree on calling it an 'Israel-Hamas war.'

A war is called one when it is on equal footing. However, looking at the differences in power dynamics, wealth accumulation and backing of Israel by the West, incessant bombing of hospitals, houses and bakeries in Gaza are also revealed by devastation captured by locals and posted on Snapchat.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  WHO   Snapchat   Gaza Strip 

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