James Foley. David Haines. Steven Sotloff. The list of individuals beheaded by supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) grows. The filming of the functions on video and distribution via cultural media platforms such as Twitter symbolize a geopolitical trend in which social media are among the most new frontline for proxy wars across the globe. While sociable media will indeed move forward connectivity and wealth among people, its proliferation at the same time results in a markedly less stable world. That social media benefits mankind is irrefutable.
I have been an evangelist for the power of new press for 20 years. However, technology by means of globalized communication, source, and transportation chains conspires to make today’s world more complex. Events in any corner of the world now impact the rest of the globe quickly and sharply.
Nations are being taken apart along sectarian seams in Iraq, tribal divisions in Afghanistan, national passions in Ukraine and territorial fences in Gaza. These issues portend a quickening of global unrest, confirmed by Foreign Policy magazine’s map of civil protest. The ISIS videos are simply the uncovered cable. I believe that over the next century, even great nations will Balkanize – break right into smaller nations.
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One of the principal drivers of the Balkanization is social media Twitter . Social media is a behavior, an expression of the innate human need to socialize and share experiences. Social media marketing is not just a group of technology channels and systems simply. Both open public and private sectors have underestimated socially the human being imperative to act.
The evidence is currently clear with an increase of than 52% of the populace living in metropolitan areas and around 2 billion people active in social media globally. Some 96% of content hails from individuals, not brands, press, or governments – a volume that much exceeds involvement in Democratic elections. Social media is not egalitarian, though.
Despite the exponential growth of user-generated content, people choose to congregate around like-minded individuals online. Then seek out new beliefs Rather, people choose to reinforce their existing political opinions through their actions online. That is illustrated in Pew Internet’s 2014 research, “Mapping Twitter Topic Networks from Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters.” Individuals self-organize by affinity, and within affinity, by the personality and sensibility. The ecosystem of social media is predicated on delivering more of what an individual already likes.
This, precisely, is the function of a Follow or Like. In this way, media coagulate than fragments online rather. Worryingly, the greater extreme the personality and sensibility of the writer with regard to the affinity, the popular they’re on social media. Affinities such as companionship, religion, politics geography, and belief devolve into narrower and narrower versions of themselves. The true purpose of the ISIS videos is never to shock Westerners outraged by the savagery; their purpose is to recruit like-minded zealots to the reason and set up their brand promise under a black flag.