Today’s internet is a battlefield and social media has become a weapon of politics and war. Messages on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat and a slew of other popular social networks around the globe are ammunition for battles which rely on hacking – not the networks, but the information they contain. Social media’s decentralized technology allows individuals and groups to start fights which blur the lines between on- and offline violence. Threats made online can translate to real-life bloodshed in some cases; in others, the spoils of war are the vast amounts of attention certain provocations garner. Each statement posted online can spark a new skirmish in the war to garner “likes.”
Defense analysts P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking lead readers on a fascinating, often harrowing, tour of this new online frontline. They explain how deception and disinformation function within digital spaces, how different governments and tech leaders are responding and what individual users should know about how information is manipulated online. Though not particularly long, their book provides incisive analysis of how various players leverage the internet for battles of differing kinds.
About the Authors
P.W. Singer is Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He has worked as a consultant to the FBI, the American military and Hollywood. Emerson T. Brooking was a Research Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and has contributed to Foreign Policy, The Atlantic and Popular Science.