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A global conference of senior military and intelligence officials taking place in London this week reveals how governments increasingly view social media as “a new front in warfare” and a tool for the Armed Forces.
The overriding theme of the event is the need to exploit social media as a source of intelligence on civilian populations and enemies; as well as a propaganda medium to influence public opinion.
Whole way in which information and society are organized has changed. From stovepipes to networks — growing power of audience and authentity. This is a threat to the whole Westphalian order of nations (i.e. top-down “because we say so” hierarchical authority). State-owned media now setting the new standard for message delivery while the Western media is collapsing for lack of viability of the advertising – print – broadcast models. Western media is spending too much time on minutia of single events and not enough time on framing, context, and meaning.
“It is time for schools to come down from the ivory tower…and start engaging with the public, doing news analysis, data dives, informing the public [in ways that] the media cannot. . . . This is an opportunity as well as a responsibility.”