TAU student from Canada joins task force to counter war misinformation

Montreal's Ben Bright, a law student, uses social media and other means to boldly combat fake news

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Ben Bright, 28, from Montreal, Canada, was one of the first to join a task force of international students at Tel Aviv University (TAU) that is using social media and other means to boldly combat fake news and tell the true story about the October 7 terror attacks and the Israel-Hamas war.

Bright, who is about to begin his LLM studies with a specialization in technology at TAU’s Buchmann Faculty of Law, utilized his previous education (BAs in Business Management from Dalhousie University in Halifax and Civil Law at the University of Ottawa), his corporate experience as a founder and manager of two ventures, and his organizational capabilities to help set up and manage the task force.

“When it all started, on October 7 at 6:30 am, I was in my apartment in Tel Aviv,” Bright recalls. “I heard the siren, and then there was a big bang. … I looked at my phone and understood right away: Even in Israel, which has known many attacks, this was not a ‘normal’ situation.”

Bright, the son of a Montreal Rabbi and currently making aliya, felt that he must do everything he can to help. “I intend to live in Israel, and this war gives me even more reason to be here,” he says. “When my brothers and sisters are fighting Hamas, I refuse to leave. I even tried to join the army, but I couldn’t because I am not an Israeli citizen yet. Anyway, I soon realized that I could be much more helpful on other battlefields, where my skills count.”

So instead of the army, Bright joined the TAU task force and was very instrumental in setting it up. “I believe in lean methodology: Do as much as you can with what you have!” he explains. On his advice, the initiative was divided into three groups: social media, public relations and counternarrative, and outreach to students and universities worldwide. With operations running efficiently, the results are impressive. “On Instagram we’ve already reached 269,000 impressions,” he reports. “We’re also active on TikTok, X, and Facebook, and in total I believe we have reached about 300,000 viewers.” At present, he oversees the contents posted by the task force and helps wherever he can. A memorable highlight was his one-on-one interview with Yocheved Lifshitz, an 85-year-old Israeli hostage released by Hamas.

“Our task force is not political,” Bright declares. “We just want to show the truth. This is a war of good vs. evil, and too many people are siding with evil. Too many Jews around the world are afraid. My message to them is: Now more than ever we must stand up! This is 2023, not 1933. Never again!”