Through the weaponization of social media, the internet is changing war and politics, just as war and politics are changing the internet. Terrorists livestream their attacks, “Twitter wars” produce real-world casualties, and viral misinformation alters not just the result of battles, but the very fate of nations. The result is that war, tech, and politics have blurred into a new kind of battlespace that plays out on our smartphones.
P. W. Singer and Emerson Brooking tackle the mind-bending questions that arise when war goes online and the online world goes to war. They explore how ISIS copies the Instagram tactics of Taylor Swift, a former World of Warcraft addict foils war crimes thousands of miles away, internet trolls shape elections, and China uses a smartphone app to police the thoughts of 1.4 billion citizens. What can be kept secret in a world of networks? Does social media expose the truth or bury it? And what role do ordinary people now play in international conflicts?
Delving into the web’s darkest corners, we meet the unexpected warriors of social media, such as the rapper turned jihadist PR czar and the Russian hipsters who wage unceasing infowars against the West. Finally, looking to the crucial years ahead, LikeWar outlines a radical new paradigm for understanding and defending against the unprecedented threats of our networked world.
Podcast coming shortly.
Peter Warren Singer is Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, the author of multiple award-winning books, and a contributing editor at Popular Science. He has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation’s 100 leading innovators, by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, as an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, and by Onalytica social media data analysis as one of the ten most influential voices in the world on cybersecurity and 25th most influential in the field of robotics.
Described in the Wall Street Journal as “the premier futurist in the national-security environment,” Dr. Singer is considered one of the world’s leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare, with more books on the military professional reading lists than any other author, living or dead. He has consulted for the US Military, Defense Intelligence Agency, and FBI, as well as advised a range of entertainment programs, including for Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Universal, HBO, Discovery, History Channel, and the video game series Call of Duty, the best-selling entertainment project in history. He served as coordinator of the Obama campaign’s defense policy task force and was named to the US Military’s Transformation Advisory Group, and is an Associate with the US Air Force’s China Aerospace Studies Institute. He has provided commentary on security issues for nearly every major TV and radio outlet, including ABC, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NPR, and the NBC Today Show. In addition to his work on conflict issues, Singer served as a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy and as an advisor to IDS. In the entertainment sector, he has received awards/support from the Tribeca Film Institute, Sloan Filmmakers Fund, Film Independent, and FAST Track at the L.A. Film Festival.