We’ve seen some fantastic bouts play out over the Twitterverse recently. Colin Cowherd vs. Arian Foster. Lady Gaga vs. sanity. Perez Hilton vs. everyone. But nothing could rival the 140-character-or-less spat we saw earlier this week: NATO vs. The Taliban.
Yes, that NATO and yes, that Taliban exchanged a few quick jabs with one another earlier this week on the social network.
The NATO tweets came on behalf of the organization’s International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan division’s @ISAFmedia account. The tiff started when the @ISAFmedia account strayed away from its normal, straight-information tweets and posted the following update on Sept. 13, “Re: Taliban spox on #Kabul attack: the outcome is inevitable. Question is how much longer will terrorist put innocent Afghans in harm’s way?”
This drew the ire of Taliban spokesperson Abdulgahar Balkhi. “@ISAFMedia i dnt knw.u hve bn pttng thm n ‘harm’s way’ fr da pst 10 yrs.Razd whole vllgs n mrkts.n stil hv da nrve to tlk bout ‘harm’s way’,” Balkhi fired back from his @ABalkhi account.
NATO and @ISAFMedia wasted little time with a response of their own; “Really, @ABalkhi? UNAMA reported 80% of civilians causalities are caused by insurgent (your) activities,” followed by a link to a NATO document outlining civilian causalities in Afghanistan.
@ABalkhi came back with one last quip, “@ISAFMedia UNAMA is an entity of whom? mine or yours?”
Looking for a good measure of Twitter’s legitimacy and reach? Look no further than two representatives from opposing sides in an actual war taking shots at one another over the social network.
So what do you think of this whole spat? Do you think Twitter has earned its right as a platform for this type of exchange? Or do you think Twitter is too informal of a medium for a debate of this type with very real-life implications?