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LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media

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Author: P. W. Singer

ISBN: 1328695743

Number Of Pages: 416

Publisher: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Release Date: 2018-10-02


Two defense experts explore the collision of war, politics, and social media, where the most important battles are now only a click away.

Through the weaponization of social media, the internet is changing war and politics, just as war and politics are changing the internet. Terrorists livestream their attacks, “Twitter wars” produce real‑world casualties, and viral misinformation alters not just the result of battles, but the very fate of nations. The result is that war, tech, and politics have blurred into a new kind of battlespace that plays out on our smartphones.

P. W. Singer and Emerson Brooking tackle the mind‑bending questions that arise when war goes online and the online world goes to war. They explore how ISIS copies the Instagram tactics of Taylor Swift, a former World of Warcraft addict foils war crimes thousands of miles away, internet trolls shape elections, and China uses a smartphone app to police the thoughts of 1.4 billion citizens. What can be kept secret in a world of networks? Does social media expose the truth or bury it? And what role do ordinary people now play in international conflicts?

Delving into the web’s darkest corners, we meet the unexpected warriors of social media, such as the rapper turned jihadist PR czar and the Russian hipsters who wage unceasing infowars against the West. Finally, looking to the crucial years ahead, LikeWar outlines a radical new paradigm for understanding and defending against the unprecedented threats of our networked world. 
An Amazon Best Book of October 2018: Were you looking for more reasons to worry about the future, or the present? LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media will fuel your nightmares. P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking’s treatise travels well beyond the disinformation and fake news we’re all now familiar with (right?), addressing the ways the internet and our social networks will be deployed in actual war: recruiting terrorists, inflicting sabotage remotely on a vast scale, and even Matrix-grade reality manipulation.

Backed by over 100 pages of notes, LikeWar is sober, deeply researched, and still compulsively readable. Comparisons to On War and The Art of War are apt, while likely optimistic—given the accelerating pace of technology, any reasonable futurist can expect to see their predictions become obsolete in three to five years, or maybe two. But even if the specifics change, the principle holds: Disruption is coming, and we are not ready. It’s frightening, but as individuals, we are far from helpless. As Singer and Brooking conclude, “Social media is extraordinarily powerful…. Yet within this network, and in each of the battles on it, we all have the power of choice.” —Jon Foro, Amazon Book Review

EAN: 9781328695741

Package Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches