Social media impacting U.S. decision on Syria - New York News

Social media impacting U.S. decision on Syria

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The military build-up is unlike any other in history as much like what happened in Egypt, social media is having a significant effect on how the conflict in Syria is viewed. How the U.S. is building its response and how Americans feel about it.

The first images of the chemical attacks were posted by regular citizens on social media. When President Obama spelled out the case for military action, the response on Twitter was immediate.

Now as a build-up to military action continues, the world is weighing in.

Within hours of the first reports of chemical attacks in Syria, the news had gone viral -- videos uploaded and atrocities on display for the world to see. The gruesome images later becoming evidence as Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for the United States to potentially take military action.

"We know as does the world that just 90 minutes later all hell broke loose in the social media,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.

The alleged use of nerve gas documented through thousands of videos, witness accounts and on social media from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area.

"It was ordinary Syrian citizens who reported all of these horrors,” said Kerry.

“While this, in a sense is a bit scary, this in a sense right now is dictating the manner in which we move forward as a government,” said Silverback Social Media CEO Chris Dessi.

Dessi, noted the importance of social media in regions where Western journalists and even our own government, has limited access.

"Now that we have this myriad of information, it becomes a brush stroke of a painting of whether we move forward with full on military action or whether we then pause and re-evaluate. It’s hugely powerful and absolutely game changing.”

And now with the build-up to possible war, the worldwide virtual communities of Twitter, Facebook and others providing an immediate litmus test for what the public thinks.

Perhaps none as influential as the Pope who wrote -- on his own Twitter page.

"Let us pray for peace: peace in the world and in each of our hearts."

The U.S. government estimates 1,400 people were killed by chemical weapons. On Twitter and Facebook Monday, activists inside Syria are asking for donations to purchase drugs used to treat neurotoxic symptoms.

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