The Internet is a Force Multiplier

Casey Newton on how social networks are like powerful empires and can be just as unpredictable:

After being widely credited for Trump’s election in 2016, and preparing to initiate the biggest war of the social network era, Russia might have been expected to excel at information warfare. Instead, like the rest of the war, it has gone quite badly for them. It is Ukraine that has been masterful in its use of social media — and while that may not prove decisive in whether or not it overcomes Russia’s superior military, at the very least it complicates our understanding of big tech and democracy.

March 1, 2022