Tweet fast and kill things: digital war

Merrin, W. and Hoskins, A. (2020) Tweet fast and kill things: digital war. Digital War, 1(1), pp. 184-193. (doi: 10.1057/s42984-020-00002-1)

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Digital technologies have disrupted most sectors of human life and activity, and war and conflict are no exceptions. Beyond military systems, the entire battlefield is transformed, with multi-media smartphones, messaging apps, and social media platforms especially creating a global, participative arena, in which the distinctions of combatant, civilian, and informational warrior implode. In an overview of recent developments of digital war, we argue that neoliberal economic ‘creative destruction’ is now destructive creation, as digital technologies have created new possibilities of destructive activity. Facebook’s early mantra of ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ can now be read as ‘tweet fast and kill things’. We have moved from the 1990s US military hopes of ‘full spectrum dominance’ of all battlefield information to the new military reality of full spectrum access. This is an emergent ‘military-social media complex’ in which the most popular US-made apps and platforms serve as a global informational warfare proxy, where empowered ‘citizen militia’ keyboard warriors take on and take down governments and media propaganda units. As computer processing has eaten mass media, it is time to reveal war in its full ecology, as made through an epochal, structural revolution in communication.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hoskins, Professor Andrew
Authors: Merrin, W., and Hoskins, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:Digital War
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Online):2662-1983
Published Online:17 March 2020

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