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War in 140 characters: how social media has democratised conflict

We’ve never been closer to the wars around us—or better able to shape them

By Hussein Kesvani   January 2018

In recent decades, as unconventional armies and self-declared autonomous regions proliferate, the way wars are fought have changed. Modern warfare has allowed more people to participate in combat—even if they’re not in the same country as the battle itself.

The democratisation of war is at the heart of David Patrikarakos’s War in 140 Characters, a thorough journalistic study into how Facebook and Twitter have not only influenced the nature of combat, but also lowered the barriers to participation. Patrikarakos, who wrote the book while covering wars since 2014, writes: “This is a…

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