How Social Media Became Intrinsic in Warfare

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During history’s most Internet-accessible war, Ukrainians are using social media to ignite citizens’ spirits and diminish Russian morale.

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not the first social media war. The 2011 Arab Spring was the first to play out on Facebook and Twitter and the Taliban’s capture of Kabul was live-tweeted to the West.
  • Both sides in the Ukraine conflict have been utilizing the power of social media to boost home morale and lower enemy morale, to confuse the opposition, to teach warfare and to tackle disinformation.
  • A wave of videos across Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and Twitter, has challenged Putin’s propaganda and united the world in support of Ukraine.
  • Google and location-based advisory pages are also being used to show Russian civilians, who don’t have access to conventional news or media channels, what is happening in Ukraine.
  • Social media has also largely removed the element of surprise from most modern warfare and is now a key factor in helping truth to prevail.
  • This shift of warfare into the digital realm also leaves social media platforms with increased responsibility to fact check, vet fake propaganda profiles and prevent the spread of misinformation.
The Washington Post
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