LikeWar: Weaponization of Social Media


LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media

Peter Singer and Emerson Brooking
joined Kathleen Hicks for a discussion of
their new book
at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies
on October 5, 2018.


Some highlights from the discussion:

• LikeWar is how social media has changed news, politics and war and in turn, how news, politics and war have changed the Internet

• If cyber war is about the hacking of networks, LikeWar is about hacking the people on the network by driving ideas viral through a mix of likes but also lies and the system’s own algorithms

• Social media is chronic over-sharers and information that doesn’t disappear but accumulates – bits used anytime by actors that don’t have our best interests at heart

• The truth can be buried in many alternate theories – the truth is out there but it is heavily buried

• Social media is the nervous system of the modern world and a battleground – provides mass-scale broadcasts and immediate one-on-one interactions

• The Internet has been balkanized by social media – very different experiences from people in different places based on market differences and what the government is willing to do

• Focus is on hacking a voting machine, though a real risk, that has never been done at a national level – but hacking a voter has been done on a national scale with indications that it will occur in the 2018 election cycle and beyond

• Social media platforms offer inundation with low-cost experimentation – can refine by volume – like aerial carpet bombing and precision munitions with immediate feedback

• Technologies producing deep fakes will be weaponized and have a greater effect on the U.S. military and the American political system than many weapons and threats that we obsess over

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