From Montreal to Riyadh to Hong Kong and beyond, Snapchat's curated Live Story feature is one that gives an arguably informational peek into life in various parts of the world. On Thursday, users awoke to the Snapchat #WestBankLive Story that started trending on Twitter almost instantly, giving the rest of the world a rare firsthand glimpse into the occupied land.
Thursday's West Bank story comes on the heels of the uproar from Snapchat's Tel Aviv story that faced huge criticism on Twitter. The story was featured a year after the grisly Israel-Gaza conflict that saw more than 2,000 Gazan casualties, tens of thousands more displaced from their homes and monumental infrastructure damage that it is still struggling to recover from. The Tel Aviv Live Story sparked a petition on social media for Snapchat to display the other side of the checkpoints and, to many people's surprise, the app took the suggestion into account.
The West Bank story marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the Israeli air raids on Gaza that started the painful summer war. #WestBankLive gave users an opportunity to discover the oft-discussed but little-seen area. The live feed included Palestinian food and culture, as well as the Bethlehem checkpoint and the separation wall.
Like many things concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Snapchat's West Bank story ignited a fervid discussion on Twitter — but many were delighted at the move, particularly ethnic Palestinians who, under current Israeli law, are not allowed to return to the West Bank or Gaza.
One particular dancing man stole the hearts of many Snapchat users.
Like everything else shared on Snapchat, the photos and videos will self-destruct within 24 hours.