War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century

Basic. Nov. 2017. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9780465096145. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780465096152. POL SCI
Patrikarakos (contributing editor, the Daily Beast; contributor, Politico; Nuclear Iran) here explores the information warfare that has defined the current political era. In this book, readers explore the new and rapidly changing worldwide information warfare made possible by social media. The departure point for the thesis unpacked here is that prevailing and counter prevailing narratives are no longer controlled by state actors and state media, but that social platforms with citizen reporters can provide compelling narratives and accounts that provide new authoritative news sources of events. We are shown how state actors have struggled to adapt to new information environments made possible by social media and user-generated content. By employing a series of case studies on the use of social media platforms in modern global events from the revolutions in Ukraine to the rise of ISIS, this work shows the complexities and challenges of the information wars to come.
VERDICT For political science and media studies readers interested in a deep dive on the ways in which social media are being used by state and nonstate actors for disseminating information in the digital era.

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