To Soldiers in World War Wired
War is the ultimate divide. The gap between people does not get deeper than that.
Many are now involved in a digital war between Russia, Ukraine, and the West. It’s risky as the truth is the first casualty of war.
Are you prepared for the digital war that can lead to both unity and division?
Welcome to "World War Wired", as a columnist in NYT puts it. The first big war in a totally interconnected world. A modern war live-streamed, minute by minute, blow by blow, death by death, to the world.
There are probably hundreds of millions of people, companies, and organizations participating in the information war by commenting, liking, and sharing on social media.
Add that all "breaking news" media is dominated by the war.
The hurricane of digital communications has influenced a record speed for sanctions, aid operations, withdrawal of foreign companies, increasing military support, and extreme build-up of new military power in many countries.
It's both amazing and very scary.
And ironic. After all, it is Russia that has tried to polarize by stimulating extreme opinions and manipulating free elections with bots, troll factories, and state-controlled media.
We are all on the battlefield
Now, we have all ended up on a battlefield where we can show if we want and can defend peace and democracy. We can all choose to participate, more or less, as soldiers in World War Wired. But it is naive to think that there will not be strong resistance.
This is how digital media specialist and writer Brit Stakston describes the situation on the media platform Blankspot:
"A digital war will be waged against the united front of the western world through an arsenal of methods and narratives that will make us lose focus by getting stuck in different side-tracks and losing momentum… It will be our responsibility as connected world citizens not to fall into those traps. "
Stakston says that, for example, we should not condescend the posting of a flag on social media. Instead, we need to think about what it says about us if we don´t act against the war.
Is there a difference between people But it is difficult to navigate. When other nationalities are abused at the borders, also refugees, it spreads quickly. After allegations on social media in Sweden, it has also been questioned on national television that we make a difference between people and people. And nationalistic Swedish politicians have replied, yes, there is a difference between people.
Brit Stakston believes that it is the wrong time to criticize the focus on refugees from Ukraine, even if it feels unfair for those who work hard with Black Lives Matter, for example. The resistance needs to unite against Russia, not split.
We, who choose to take the fight for democracy and peace, need a clear head and awareness of how digital warfare works. It unifies and divides.