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By Jonathon Morgan

We posted last week about the increasingly bloody conflict that's erupted in Gaza. As the conflict drags on, both sides of a fiercely contested public debate are scrambling for moral high ground. At the center of this debate are the Israel Defense Force, or IDF. Supporters of Palestine call the IDF terrorists, blaming the organization for the large number of civilian casualties. Meanwhile pro-Israeli groups believe the IDF is defending its people from terrorists, and doing all it can to prevent civilian death.

Using CrisisNET we analyzed the sentiment, subjectivity and influence of tweets about the IDF, in an attempt to see which side is winning the public relations battle. Dots toward the top of the graph are very subjective, while dots toward the bottom are more objective. Dots to the left represent negative tweets, while dots to the right were more positive. A dot's size represents its authors social influence (determined using Klout), whith the largest dots representing the most influential users.

Now some caveats. Sentiment is notoriously difficult for an algorithm to discern, particularly in this case because tweets are so short and often use very informal language. In spite of these challenges, we felt that the trends we discovered when analyzing this data in the aggregate were worth sharing.