The Dark Side of Interconnectivity: Social Media as a Cyber–Weapon?

CEI researcher Sofia Martins Geraldes has just published the chapter “The Dark Side of Interconnectivity: Social Media as a Cyber–Weapon?” in the Springer edited volume “Social Media and the Armed Forces.”
About the chapter

Traditional wisdom understands weapons as tools that cause or have the potential to cause damage or harm, whereas cyber-weapons relate to the use of computer code that causes or has the potential to cause damage or harm. Both conceptions understand damage and harm as inherently physical. While the rise of social networks creates new opportunities for strategic communications in the armed forces, it also facilitates hostile activities, such as psychological operations, with the potential to cause damage beyond the physical domain, thus challenging the traditional understanding of weapons. This contribution investigates the potential of social media to be used as a cyber-weapon, arguing that Russia used social media as a cyber-weapon in the conflict with Ukraine. The analysis demonstrates that Russia’s use of social media caused damage to Ukraine, which consequently contributed to the reform of the security and defence sector in Ukraine.

The chapter can be found on the Springer website.

Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Sofia Martins Geraldes

Researcher at CEI. PhD candidate in History, Studies of Security and Defense (Iscte & Military Academy). Previous: Political Analyst at OGMA, founder and Coordinator of EuroDefense-Jovem, trainee at the National Defence Institute. Research interests: IR Theory, Security Studies, Information Operations, Online disinformation on social media, Cyberspace and Contemporary Conflict, EU, and NATO.

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