Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan captured by Pakistan is seen in this handout photo released February 27, 2019. (Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) Handout via Reuters)
ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A downed Indian fighter pilot who was attacked by a mob and then paraded on video by Pakistan's army has become a social media sensation and a hero in his homeland amid a spiraling crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
US Army soldier takes a selfie during a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flight over the Black Sea. (U.S. Army/William B. King)
Enemies can use social media to not only inexpensively find and target NATO forces — but also manipulate them, new research has concluded.
Researchers with NATO's Strategic Communications Center of Excellence used open source data, primarily social media, to successfully identify 150 soldiers, locate multiple battalions, track troop movements, and even convince service members to leave their posts and engage in other "undesirable behavior" during a military exercise, Wired reported Monday, citing a StratCom report.
And they did it for only $60, demonstrating how easy it is for an aggressor to target NATO with data available online.
While critics might scoff at the notion of social media as a vital national security issue, LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, is chock full of sobering reminders that what happens online doesn’t always stay there.
Every day, millions of young people swap selfies on Snapchat, update their status on Facebook, and swipe right on love interests on Tinder. For millennials, social media is essential for a 21st Century social life — but for 62-year-old political scientist Eliot A. Cohen, it apparently means the end of the human civilization as we know it. For malevolent actors ranging from the government of Vladimir Putin to the recruiters of the Islamic State, social media is a weapon which can undermine American democracy and even topple entire governments.