Well first the Infowars in this post has nothing to with the site from the uber-conspiracist, Alex Jones….or the tin foil hat crowd…..
We have seen how social media has played into our elections and the spread of crappy world views….some might even say “fake news”…..but the future of social media is in question….maybe not by everyone but some at least……
A new book covers this subject……..
Violence, like Twitter, is a means of communication. If we do not understand it as such, its place in international relations makes no sense. As Thomas Schelling wrote in 1966: “The power to hurt is bargaining power. To exploit it is diplomacy — vicious diplomacy, but diplomacy.” Thinkers such as Joseph Nye and John Arquilla have argued that future wars will be determined by “whose story wins” more than who wins on the battlefield. Any analysis of narratives affecting war, however, must explain how violence itself shapes and destroys narratives. Violence may be a terrible way of communicating, but it will always be the ultimate way for states to signal their intentions and capabilities when discourse fails.
Journalist David Patrikarakos’ War in 140 Characters is an extremely rewarding, yet hopeless attempt to argue that new information technology — specifically, social media — has fundamentally “destabilized classic forms of war” and suggest that something new is upon us. According to Patrikarakos, social media is “one thing above all else: effect without cause.” As a result, it has given actors without any resources the ability to have an impact on what he calls the “narrative” and “discursive” levels of war, at which actors interpret the truth and political meaning of military action. Since the narrative and discursive levels of war have a greater impact on the political outcome of a war than military operations, effective tweeting can make battles irrelevant. And since non-state actors are better at tweeting than the West’s discredited institutions, they have gained an unprecedented advantage. The pernicious effects of battlefield social media thus threaten “the very idea that wars between state and non-state actors are asymmetric.”
It is up in the air on the future of social media….Facebook has called into question the security on these sites and points to ways they can be exploited.
Personally, I have never trusted any of them as far as I could spit them….my footprint on social media is very small to the point of being damn near none existent.
I have no confidence still and will continue to use them sparingly.