Why is social media a national security issue? - YUSUF KAPLAN

Why is social media a national security issue?

In my article on Friday, I tried to philosophize on the topic of social media and stated that we would discuss why it’s globally being considered a national security issue. 

Analyzing social media philosophically, I said that while social media presents an opportunity and space for freedom, it also signifies conflict and tension used to suppress freedoms, provoke the masses, and collapse countries. 

In this article, I intend to discuss what social media signifies in practice, and what it corresponds to in our life. 

 

MODERNITY, INDIVIDUAL, MASS SOCIETY 

Modernity emphasized the individual and the mind. The extremism of the individual’s mind invented the masses, sacrificing and destroying the individual in the process.

Modern society invented mass society through medias. Mass society in turn turned humanity into weak flocks. 

In mass society, the individual is a tragic presence that is destroyed among the crowds. 

 

 SOCIAL MEDIA AS A MEDIUM THAT PRODUCES VIOLENCE 

Though social media is “social,” it is a medium that both divides the community, and limits humanity to what is superficial, visible, tempting; to the image, to perception. 

The variety of tools used to produce and spread information is increasing, while humanity’s powers of comprehension weaken. What is important should not be to produce heaps of meaningless, shallow, worthless information, but to produce meaningful, valuable information that enrich life and humanity, that deepen the capability to comprehend, and to provide guidance. 

Surely a medium that does not value or cannot influence humanity, life, information, and thus the truth, cannot possibly build a meaningful, worthwhile, and beautiful world. The individual has disappeared among the media and masses in modern society. As social media of the post-modern society limits humanity to the superficial, to temptation, and to the meaningless, the elimination of the community becomes inevitable. 

Hence, it may be called social media as a phenomenon, but it both de-socializes the masses and dooms them to a conflictive, primitive mindset. 

Social media reduces societies’ capacity to understand and comprehend solely to perception, imagery and temptation, leading them to possess a reactive, conflictive psychology. 

Furthermore, when the act of comprehension remains on a superficial level, the discursive intensity becomes strong, causing polarizations and disputes in society to easily peak. 

When one’s ability to grasp and comprehend certain things is at a low point, tensions and the rate of conflict among various social factions skyrocket.

Finally, when one’s capacity to understand and grasp atrophies, their freedom also comes under threat. 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA HAS BECOME A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE AROUND THE WORLD 

Social media appears at first blush to expand people’s area of freedom. But it only appears that way. This is just a simulation and not the big picture. 

In order to see the big picture, one needs to look in depth: Humans are, in fact, a “puppet” in the world of social media. 

There is a puppet master who controls the humans. They pull the strings, deciding how humans should act, almost a modern version of the Greek god Zeus. Those who do not like it storm at Donald Trump “the puppet” or his servant, and eliminate him without showing any mercy! 

In the past, newspapers, then television channels would establish governments and collapse them. Now, the windows of the old have become social media. What establishes governments and collapses them is social media. 

Social media conducted a government coup that was globally observed in the U.S.: America, the country of democracy and freedoms, both demonized Trump in the presidential elections, and suspended his social media accounts, while Joe Biden sat on his throne in the White House! 

The latest example came from Tunisia: Following the perceptions formed through social media, the government was easily struck with an asymmetrical coup. 

Taking advantage of the wildfires, social media is conducting an incredible perception operation in Turkey. Just think about it: 7.5 million Twitter accounts were activated in four days, and using hashtags such as HelpTurkey and GlobalCall, 2.5 million tweets were posted in two hours, creating the image that Turkey is burning, that it is devastated and needs help. The majority of these tweets were posted from bot accounts, and 71 percent from a special headquarter! 

Turkey is up against a new type of attack! Hence, social media must be discussed as a national security problem. This is not in regards to imposing certain bans. Such a thing would be absurd. On the contrary, I am talking about the necessity of taking technical and legal measures, and drawing up legal regulations. 

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