Can Social Media Kill in Mass Numbers? ‘War in 140 Characters’ Author Says Yes | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Worldview

Can Social Media Kill in Mass Numbers? 'War in 140 Characters' Author Says Yes

Journalist David Patrikarakos has reported from war zones around the world. But a few years ago, he began to notice that soldiers on the front lines of global hotspots engage with social media, almost as much as in combat. In many ways, that was their new frontline. 

While social media has demonstrated an ugly side before, Patrikarakos says that those words in cyberspace — real or fake — have the potential to cause massive real-life violence. Since many of the social media posts end up supporting state-run propaganda, it has enabled warring countries and factions to redefine truth and pose new realities to people invested in a conflict. 

This phenomenon led Patrikarakos to write War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First CenturyPatrikarakos, a contributing writer for Politico Europe, The New York Times, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and Newsweek, joins Worldview to discuss his book.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.

CLOSE X