Bordering online

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Bordering online

How the Palestinian narrative has invaded coding

Most of us have ordered something online. The process is very similar on all sites. A huge drop-down menu appears when you click on the Country button. Sometimes you have chose from a couple of hundred places, most of which you couldn’t locate on a map but generally your country is right at the top.

Palestinian Territories, Occupied!

Imagine my surprise on scrolling down past dozens of places, some with an official description e.g. Lao Peoples Democratic Republic rather than Laos and some without Australia rather than the Commonwealth of Australia when I came to Palestinian Territories, Occupied. I won’t embarrass the site, which is unabashedly pro Israel by linking to it.

There is no such thing as the Palestinian Territories. I suppose if the coders thought someone from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Nieue† might want to buy their Israel-themed T-Shirts, then it is reasonable to include the Palestine Authority or even Palestine but Occupied is just blatant politics which they haven’t repeated for the other countries.

I don’t accuse the programmer for a site of deliberate Destroy Israel Lobby advocacy. He or she probably copied it from another site (whose programmer may well have been trying to make a political point) and didn’t give it a further thought. And so it gets copy/pasted from site to site, spreading a subtle piece of anti-Israel propaganda. It’s all in the semantics.

Drop-down menusAction Items:

  • Politely contact any site that uses this drop-down and ask them to revise it.
  • If they don’t give a satisfactory answer or the menu is not revised in a reasonable period inform them that you will be contacting their advertisers, suppliers and clients (particularly those with a Jewish/Zionist/Israeli connection) and informing them.
  • Do so and spread the word through your friends, connections and social networks. Recommend everybody contacts them with a complaint.

†It’s an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean commonly known as the “Rock”. Niue is 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) northeast of New Zealand in a triangle between Tonga to the southwest, the Samoas to the northwest, and the Cook Islands to the southeast. The land area is 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi) with about 1,400 people.

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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