Leveraging social media for war advantage

The combat practices in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria have shown that social media may produce effects that military means cannot achieve. In a sense, its effectiveness even surpasses some traditional combat methods. With the prominent role of social media in modern warfare, its combat application is becoming more and more extensive.

Use social media to gather intelligence information.

Social media is a "rich mine" for mining intelligence information. In recent years, with the popularity and popularity of social media, terrorists, various anti-government armed forces and even government soldiers have used social media as an important platform for transmitting and sharing information, which has aroused the close attention of intelligence personnel from various countries. By analyzing the background of photos and videos on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, the location and activity patterns of the publishers can be determined, and then precise strikes can be carried out. On March 6, 2022, Ukrainian presidential adviser Podolyak tweeted a selfie, exposing the location of foreign mercenaries. A week after the location was revealed, the International Peacekeeping and Security Center where Podolak had photographed was hit by eight Russian missiles, killing 35 people, injuring 134 and destroying several buildings.

Influence public perception through social media.

In the information age, the practice of winning by whatever means is outdated, replaced by winning by following the laws of society. Compared with traditional media, Facebook, Twitter and other social media have a wide audience, fast speed, and strong participation. They can quickly push selected information to hundreds of millions of target audiences in the form of pictures and texts, thereby affecting the target audience's views and attitude on events. During the Syrian civil war, rebels and their supporters released more than 100 videos and thousands of messages on social media from 12 different regions, accusing government forces of using sarin gas, making the international community generally believe that government forces launched chemical weapons attacks , finally forcing the Syrian government to agree to destroy the stockpile of chemical weapons.

Use social media to implement psychological deterrence.

In 21st century conflict, the psychological dimension is as important as the physical one, and the clever use of psychological warfare can effectively offset an opponent's advantage on the physical battlefield. During the "Pillar of Defense" operation, the Israeli army tweeted the news that Hamas' senior military leader Jabari was killed in the bombing on the first day of the war, and retweeted it to Hamas’ official, reminding Hamas members not to show up, which has a better deterrent effect. At the same time, the use of social media has become an important means of extremist terrorist organizations. Before the attack on Baghdad, the "Islamic State" organization kept pushing messages and pictures of "We are coming, Baghdad" on Twitter, causing the Iraqi people to mistakenly believe that Baghdad had been occupied, causing great panic.