LikeWar

The Weaponization of Social Media
Narrated by: George Guidall
Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (521 ratings)

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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

What listeners say about LikeWar

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Ourstanding and smart! Awful narration.

This book is absolutely a must read. A careful analysis of social media and how and why it permeates everything we do.

how they chose this narrator, I'll never know.

1 person found this helpful

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A dismal dystopian future, only it’s happening now

Extraordinarily well written, researched, and sourced. Despite it’s clear anti-Trump bias, it’s mostly focused on facts surrounding not only Russian interference in the 2016 election, but in the rise of real-world brutality born online.

The only true criticism I have is that after 11 hours of “the world is falling to a chaotic and nearly unstoppable force”, there is only 38 minutes of “here is a tenable solution”. Overall well done, if not depressing.

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Can't overstate its importance.

Very informative and well constructed explanation of the most challenging decade to come and the environment and technologies shaping it.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Information Ruined by Whining Political Bias

I had high hopes for this book. I attended a speaking engagement by Peter Singer and found him to be intelligent, engaging, and relevant. My colleagues shared that impression, a tough one to win in a room full of graduate degree holding professionals. He mentioned this book and his fiction work and I eagerly read both. I should have skipped this one. I'll be telling my colleagues to do the same.

The authors spend the first third or so of this book talking about the history of the internet and then lead this conversation into the history of its manipulation. Unfortunately though, that is where the book falls off a cliff and dies. Thereafter, they take every opportunity to bash Donald Trump as businessman, candidate, and President. The insults and innuendo came so heavily that there or times when you can't get more than 5 pages without Trump being again insulted. Other times, the authors mention Trump more times in one page than they do the internet itself. Paramount among the childish attacks are the multiple times where the authors take the opportunity to mention Russians or death squads or rogue nations in the same sentence as Trump. The intent is clear. They hate Trump, got it. I kept waiting for them to get back on topic, but it never happened.

I'm neither a Trump fan nor a Trump hater, but the childish vitriol the authors pour on President Trump makes me think this book was the result of a brainstorming session on how to get their Trump hatred into book form without telling readers anything about that plan on the jacket.

This book is an absolute shame and it destroyed the respect I had for Peter Singer. Had the authors limited the criticism of the President to a few barbs or even a few outright vilifications, I could have accepted it. Instead, they lashed out like whiny children who had their toys taken away - for over half the book! The intellectual and literary value these men had to offer was blunted by their inability to comport themselves like adults. The remainder of their bodies of work are tainted by their willingness to devalue this work in order to promote their political biases.

TLDR: Whiny authors ruin good content by spending most of the book bashing Trump.

14 people found this helpful

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LikeWar a sly leftist conformation bias.

This book about the manipulations of social media starts out by including it's own version of confirmation bias by immediately tying President Trump to the whole world of the corrupted internet. It insinuates his supposed bad motives and insults his intellect all while proving that he ingeniously used social media to accomplish an amazing feat. This book is simply a LikeWar possessing likes for Trump hating leftist. The historical timeline of the World Wide Web birth was interesting, but the obvious leftwing bias was unbearable halfway through chapter 5. .... I will search for a different source (unbiased) to more fully understand the current situational aspects of todays social media zoo.

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Internet for cynics

Everyone who uses (or is used by) social media, main stream media or has any digital device(s), should understand the concepts and consequences thereof and thereby. This book will outline the history of how we got here and who is out there.

Bots, sock puppets, AI, weaponized tweets and more.

Don't scroll without knowing.

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Must read

Fascinating and a little terrifying. This should be required reading to explain why we need to think critically and examine carefully what is on social media. It possibly, and likely, isn't what it first appears to be.

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Proposed Solutions Equally Subject to Manipulation as Problems Diagnosed

Collectivist messaging places burden where it can no more be objectively executed than the current “Wild West” scenario. The idea that freedom of speech must be proactively curtailed to protect the world from “dangerous” voices by our moral betters is an extraordinarily dangerous proposal in and of itself. Educating the public about how to be a smart consumer in the SM sphere without limiting the power of the individual to make their own decisions is the path forward. The difference is that the risk involved when moving from a publisher format (standard media outlets) to a platform (social media) include the inherent dangers of giving the public a means by which to publish their own beliefs/ideas. In today’s politically charged climate with an ever-increasing tilt toward censorship of ideas which reinforce the themes of an increasingly repressive tolerance, the need to encourage horizontal planes of ideological exposure (rather than vertical silos) while fervently guarding the right to freedom of speech for all has never been more crucial. Sadly, the solutions proposed by the authors here remain equally subject to manipulation as the problems they diagnose, and place us all in the hands of content moderators in a world where political neutrality is as rare as water in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Consume this text with a grain of salt.

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  • Ben
  • 02-12-19

Great Book. Average Narration

A highly recommend and insightful text. But please get someone else to voice it. Cadence and intonation make this really hard to follow.

1 person found this helpful

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  • N PAVLIDIS
  • 07-05-20

fantastic book

A must read in today's age of social networking warfare. politics war and social networking under a microscope.