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Publisher's Summary

Two defense experts explore the collision of war, politics, and social media, where the most important battles are now only a click away.

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.

©2018 P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking (P)2018 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
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Deep analysis of the Social Media revolution

The beginning third of the book is a historical summary of the internet. The second is a detailed series of events shaped through social media. The third is how policy and social media are failing. The conclusion made the entire book worth it, great analogies and assessments to quickly summarize the lessons learned through the text. My favorite approximate quote, “censoring our own content is akin to covering our mouths while we cough, it is to protect others and not ourselves.” We need a cultural responsibility adjustment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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For the non-computer folks among us!

Fantastic book! A well reasoned handling of the impact of social media on our day-to-day lives. This was delivered in a non-judge mental tone with excellent historic background

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scary glimpse into cyber and social implications

dr. singer does it again. thoughtful analysis of how cyberspace is being leveraged to shape thoughts, feelings and influence outcomes. great read and i will tell all my friends and associates this book is worth the time.

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A Must Read Book

This book really put the emerging technological issues of the 21st century in perspective. There are still many alternate futures possible, but this book does an excellent job exploring the most likely outcomes of technology's impact on the information age.

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Essential reading.

Before you begin this book, it may help you to know its authors DO see light at the end of this horrifyingly destructive tunnel. LikeWar’s subtitle, “The Weaponization of Social Media,” well describes its subject. It’s a solidly documented account of how social media has been and continues to be used to start, escalate, and sustain brutal wars; recruit members to terrorist cells and incite them to increasingly brutal acts,and on and on. But the most devastating use of weaponized media is to sew mistrust in our public institutions, make civil discourse less and less possible, and otherwise discourage and confuse citizens to the point of disengagement. Convince people their vote counts for nothing and they won’t vote. Convince people its impossible to know which set of facts are true and they will stop asking questions. Convince people that everyone is out to take from them all they hold dear and they will devolve into hatred and fear. This is the real damage wrought by weaponized media: destruction of the will to achieve, to communicate with one another and to work together for the greater good. We cannot let this continue—-and we still have the power to make lasting powerful and positive change. Reading this book—-and it’s a troubling read— is an an excellent start.

Well written and compellingly read.

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Must listen

truly the most timely, relevant and life changing ideas I've been exposed to in years. we all need to be more aware of our role in influencing each other and our responsibility to think critically about what we see and hear. amazing

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Very thought provoking

This is a very timely and thought provoking book. It tied together a lot of events that I was aware of. However it gave the internet and social media angle that i wad not so aware of. For that I enjoyed it.

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Some minor flaws, but the gist is correct

Overall this was a great title, which fits beautifully into my filter bubble and highlight what seems to me is the net delusion. In many ways this is rehash of previous works, albeit adding its own angle and addressing the psychology of individuals and groups. Again I doubt this is unique or solely new ground, but it is compact, coherent and all in the same place.

There are some flaws that stood out to me where points are made that mistranslation of words are used in propaganda, no doubt this is true but 'cadaver' is German for dead body, it can imply animal in context but generally to be explicit German would specify 'tier'. This does not invalidate the point but subtly makes another, which isn't then addressed. One could say its in the negative space... . Either way, this makes me wonder about other facts which might not be so specifically, though it does not detract from the point being made, and in the context is minor. This certainly is not what the thrust of the book rests upon, and only comes up once but it stood out to me.

That nitpick aside, great book.

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Should be "Like Required Reading"

Helps to bring the new information age into perspective for Gen Z through The Greatest Generation. There is only one truth but it can be buried deep by loud and broadly spread lies. America and the World need to find a workable solution.