P.W. Singer, co-author of the new book LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, joins for this episode of the MWI Podcast. The book is part history, part analysis of current events, and even part future-oriented horizon scanning. In the episode, Singer traces some of the trends in both the development of web-enabled connectivity and the constantly evolving character of warfare—trends that have converged to bring us to a place in which social media tools have become powerful weapons wielded by an array of combatants in real-world conflicts. In many ways, he explains, these platforms have become battlefields themselves.
The conversation ranges from the Islamic State’s expert use of social media—including the #AllEyesOnISIS hashtag the group used to bring its fight directly to your smartphone—to the way that Russia has dusted off its Cold War–era disinformation playbook and updated it to the digital age to do everything from enabling tactical actions in eastern Ukraine to undermining faith in democratic institutions in the United States. It’s a great episode you won’t want to miss.
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Excellent discussion. This is my first MWI podcast. I got here after reading the Fall 2018 West Point magazine article. I look forward to listening to some more. One suggestion–and, this may be that I lack the sophistication to find it–is to post to total time for the podcasts somewhere on the page. I wasn't certain if I had sufficient time set aside for this experience when I started and spent a lot of time watching the timer and estimating if, indeed, I would be able to listen to the end. Again, very, very well done.