Authors of a recent report, Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn From Palestinian Social Media, Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz questioned the success of the Obama administration's efforts for peace progress in Palestine based on infromation being made available by the governemnt.
"Are we at a place where the sentiment on the ground is conducive for peace?" Schanzer asked, pointing out that history shows peace attempts made by American governments have been misled and misinformed.
"We have had many men and women trying to find a resolution to this conflict," said Dubowitz as he agreed to Schanzer's testament to repeated failures in attempting to reach peace in the region. Dubowitz, who is also the Executive Director of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, credited these failures to an over reliance on Palestinian polls for information and "misleading promises" made by Palestinian leaders.
The authors touted social media as a more efficient and accurate means of finding out the true sentiments of the people saying that it is free of any outside influence or manipulation and the anonymity of opinions give more room for people to bring up really controversial issues.
On the other hand, Matt Levit, Senior Fellow and Director of The Washington Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, questioned the validity of statements put online, since a majority of content is published by a younger generation.
"In the age of social media we need to have a better understanding of how people convey online," Levit said. "To what extent what we are reading is bravado, how much of a conclusion we can draw, I question."