Friday, 6 November 2015

Why social media is helping terrorists

Think back to the Great War in 1914-1918. News of victories, or the advance of invading armies was relayed by word of mouth or newspapers. A son, father, uncle, lover could have been killed and their loved ones would not know for several weeks, perhaps even months. The war was conducted far enough for the wives, sisters, children and elderly parents to carry on at least a semblance to their old lives. Today, war is a very different animal. Insidious and concealed behind a veil of religion where the interpretation of faith is not the wisest or most erudite. And the impulsiveness of today's fast food generation who want everything immediately is demonstrated by the way terrorists and war mongers use social media. They brag about their brutal and hideous 'achievements' and find a receptive audience with the least effort imaginable.

Thirty years ago when my generation was still typing letters on carbon copies and telex was considered rapid communication, it was wholly unimaginable to conceive of the carnage that the internet and social media would facilitate. While the arrival of the internet opened up vistas and growth possibilities to companies and enabled communication to become more or less instantaneous, no one could have known then how a technological innovation could become a deadly Medusa. There is a debate to be had on whether Twitter, You Tube, Facebook, should be shut down in order to stop the madder species literally dead in their tracks. Without an audience how could they boast about blowing up priceless relics or beheading their zillionth victim or bringing down a passenger jet full of families and children?

Sadly, social media and the internet also serves the purpose of the powers that be, to disseminate information in order to wag the dog. Not to mention the lefties who will march through the streets complaining about their rights to have their ego massaged - who would they be after all, without a selfie? What is the worth of a man or woman these days who doesn't desperately require attention without which they would simply not exist. My point exactly.

Photo copyright SvD.

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