LikeWar : The Weaponization of Social Media
by Singer, P. W.; Brooking, Emerson T.

1 The War Begins
An Introduction to LikeWar
2 Every Wire a Nerve
How the Internet Changed the World
3 The Truth Is Out There
Social Media and the End of Secrets
4 The Empires Strike Back
Censorship, Disinformation, and the Burial of Truth
5 The Unreality Machine
The Business of Veracity vs. Virality
6 Win the Net, Win the Day
The New Wars for Attention and Power
7 LikeWar
The Conflicts That Drive the Web and the World
8 Masters of the Universe
The New Rules and Rulers of LikeWar
9 Conclusion
What Do We Know, What Can We Do?

Two defense experts explore the collision of war, politics, and social media, discussing how the online world affects and is affected by war and the role that ordinary people can play in international conflicts.

*Starred Review* Social media promised to bring people together and connect us in new ways to make the world a better place, and that has been accomplished. But social media have also brought together terrorists, authoritarian forces, white supremacists, religious extremists, and others who do real harm in the real world. Defense experts Singer (Wired for War, 2009) and Brooking explain how social media have been weaponized, blurring the lines between technology, politics, and war to create a new online global battlefield that sees perpetual action. In this important resource, the authors describe how this new form of warfare is waged not only to hold the public's constant attention but also to seize control over reality. Defining new terminology and highlighting governmental digital policies, they discuss the dynamics and consequences of disinformation, trolling, botnets, and flashy or outrageous videos, all meant to alter and control public perception. More than 100 pages of source notes attest to the thoroughness of their research, and Singer and Brooking have gone to very dark cyber places to bring these facts to light, analyzing ideas and organizations that may give readers nightmares and that can catalyze actual violence. LikeWar should be required reading for everyone living in a democracy and all who aspire to. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

In which Facebook becomes a Clausewitz-ian continuation of war by other means.Ever since the 2016 presidential campaign, it has dawned on many Americans that social media might just not be our friends—and certainly not the friends of democracy. As Singer (Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, 2009) and Brooking caution, though that campaign represents a historic use of social media on the part of the Trump machine to rebrand their candidate, "it was also a globe-spanning information conflict, fought by hundreds of millions of people across dozens of social media platforms." Those platforms are novel and not well-understood, but they are most definitely what military planners call "battlespaces." The Islamic State group has used social media to recruit jihadis from across the world; Russia, as we are increasingly learning, has deftly used those media to influence elections; kidnappers in places like Colombia and Mexico use them to selec t targets, harvesting information on habits and whereabouts. Some of the text is unnecessarily obvious; few readers will not know, for instance, that the internet has grown explosively in the last generation, as the authors patiently explain. But much is novel: Singer and Brooking sagely note the intensity of interpersonal squabbling online as a moral equivalent of actual combat, and they also discuss how "humans as a species are uniquely ill-equipped to handle both the instantaneity and the immensity of information that defines the social media age." The United States seems especially ill-suited, since in the Wild West of the internet, our libertarian tendencies have led us to resist what other nations have put in place, including public notices when external disinformation campaigns are uncovered and "legal action to limit the effect of poisonous super-spreaders." Information literacy, by this account, becomes a "national security imperative," one in which the U.S. is badl y lagging and indeed serves as a negative example for the rest of the world. A timely, urgent look at a world of electronic sheep—and wolves aplenty, too. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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