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LikeWar

The Weaponization of Social Media
Narrated by: George Guidall
Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Non-member price: $39.00

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Publisher's Summary

Two defense experts explore the collision of war, politics, and social media, where the most important battles are now only a click away.

Through the weaponization of social media, the Internet is changing war and politics, just as war and politics are changing the Internet. Terrorists livestream their attacks, “Twitter wars” produce real world casualties, and viral misinformation alters not just the result of battles, but the very fate of nations. The result is that war, tech, and politics have blurred into a new kind of battlespace that plays out on our smartphones.

P. W. Singer and Emerson Brooking tackle the mind bending questions that arise when war goes online and the online world goes to war. They explore how ISIS copies the Instagram tactics of Taylor Swift, a former World of Warcraft addict foils war crimes thousands of miles away, Internet trolls shape elections, and China uses a smartphone app to police the thoughts of 1.4 billion citizens. What can be kept secret in a world of networks? Does social media expose the truth or bury it? And what role do ordinary people now play in international conflicts?

Delving into the web’s darkest corners, we meet the unexpected warriors of social media, such as the rapper turned jihadist PR czar and the Russian hipsters who wage unceasing infowars against the West. Finally, looking to the crucial years ahead, LikeWar outlines a radical new paradigm for understanding and defending against the unprecedented threats of our networked world.

©2018 P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking (P)2018 Recorded Books

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Profile Image for Ross J. Patti
  • Ross J. Patti
  • 29-10-2018

Deep analysis of the Social Media revolution

The beginning third of the book is a historical summary of the internet. The second is a detailed series of events shaped through social media. The third is how policy and social media are failing. The conclusion made the entire book worth it, great analogies and assessments to quickly summarize the lessons learned through the text. My favorite approximate quote, “censoring our own content is akin to covering our mouths while we cough, it is to protect others and not ourselves.” We need a cultural responsibility adjustment.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas M.
  • 02-04-2019

A dismal dystopian future, only it’s happening now

Extraordinarily well written, researched, and sourced. Despite it’s clear anti-Trump bias, it’s mostly focused on facts surrounding not only Russian interference in the 2016 election, but in the rise of real-world brutality born online.

The only true criticism I have is that after 11 hours of “the world is falling to a chaotic and nearly unstoppable force”, there is only 38 minutes of “here is a tenable solution”. Overall well done, if not depressing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jordan
  • 28-01-2019

Can't overstate its importance.

Very informative and well constructed explanation of the most challenging decade to come and the environment and technologies shaping it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AndersonS
  • 29-11-2018

A Must Read Book

This book really put the emerging technological issues of the 21st century in perspective. There are still many alternate futures possible, but this book does an excellent job exploring the most likely outcomes of technology's impact on the information age.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott
  • 28-12-2018

Good Information Ruined by Whining Political Bias

I had high hopes for this book. I attended a speaking engagement by Peter Singer and found him to be intelligent, engaging, and relevant. My colleagues shared that impression, a tough one to win in a room full of graduate degree holding professionals. He mentioned this book and his fiction work and I eagerly read both. I should have skipped this one. I'll be telling my colleagues to do the same.

The authors spend the first third or so of this book talking about the history of the internet and then lead this conversation into the history of its manipulation. Unfortunately though, that is where the book falls off a cliff and dies. Thereafter, they take every opportunity to bash Donald Trump as businessman, candidate, and President. The insults and innuendo came so heavily that there or times when you can't get more than 5 pages without Trump being again insulted. Other times, the authors mention Trump more times in one page than they do the internet itself. Paramount among the childish attacks are the multiple times where the authors take the opportunity to mention Russians or death squads or rogue nations in the same sentence as Trump. The intent is clear. They hate Trump, got it. I kept waiting for them to get back on topic, but it never happened.

I'm neither a Trump fan nor a Trump hater, but the childish vitriol the authors pour on President Trump makes me think this book was the result of a brainstorming session on how to get their Trump hatred into book form without telling readers anything about that plan on the jacket.

This book is an absolute shame and it destroyed the respect I had for Peter Singer. Had the authors limited the criticism of the President to a few barbs or even a few outright vilifications, I could have accepted it. Instead, they lashed out like whiny children who had their toys taken away - for over half the book! The intellectual and literary value these men had to offer was blunted by their inability to comport themselves like adults. The remainder of their bodies of work are tainted by their willingness to devalue this work in order to promote their political biases.

TLDR: Whiny authors ruin good content by spending most of the book bashing Trump.

11 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • jrbryant
  • 30-09-2019

Too Bad, this book had promise

Unfortunately by Chapter 5 it descended into a thinly-veiled attack of the right. The author cherry-picks examples. Clearly not in the same league as someone like Jonathan Haidt as far as treating difficult topics with impartiality and intellectual honesty.

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  • Soud A.
  • 28-09-2019

Awe Inspiring

If you ever wanted a summary of the current and future impact of social media on society and culture this is it.

my only gripe was the performance.

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  • JR
  • 24-08-2019

Thoughtful thorough analysis

Thoughtful thorough analysis of social media's impact - both good and bad. Voice is pleasant to listen to with great inflection, intonation etc.

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  • Colin
  • 11-06-2019

Ourstanding and smart! Awful narration.

This book is absolutely a must read. A careful analysis of social media and how and why it permeates everything we do.

how they chose this narrator, I'll never know.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • steven heffington
  • 20-05-2019

Exceptional

One of the best and easiest to read books on the modern informational instrument of power. Any study of the info instrument should include this book, as well as David Sanger's Perfect Weapon.

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  • Ben W.
  • 12-02-2019

Great Book. Average Narration

A highly recommend and insightful text. But please get someone else to voice it. Cadence and intonation make this really hard to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful