Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News


I recently read the book Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social MediaWorld of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News  by  Clint Watts and to be clear it isn’t the best book I have ever read, mostly because the author spends the majority of the book talking about how smart he is. Come on, look at how long the title is? Inflated sense of self-worth much!
But, if you can sift through the Self-aggrandizement the book makes a few interesting points about how social media is making us dumber not smarter. For example, we don’t spend time online debating people to learn from there point of view, we spend the time pointing out how others are wrong or placing ourselves in silos with others who have the same point of view as us.
Social media now allows for the spread of fake news just as easily as real news. And with news agencies losing money year over year, the quality of real news is going down, and the ability to filter out the filth from the truth is becoming harder as those who spread it are becoming more adept at making the random things they think look true. Look at the rise of the anti-vaxers, the flat-earthers, and the Trump supporters. They don’t spend time on reputable news sources. They don’t check appendixes to see where authors and You Tubers obtained there information. No, they see, read, or hear something that aligns with what they believe and spread that information with those they are on contact.
But, back to the book, Watts does an excellent job of explaining how easily this is happening, and how the government full of old rich white guys who still think a tweet comes from a bird is slow to see the impact of this on the way information is shared.
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