Ukraine: have social networks taken up the challenge of Putin’s war?


At first sight, yes. Meta’s WhatsApp has been the main way for Ukrainians, and equally crucial in Russia, to find out what’s really going on in the Russian invasion – despite the efforts of Vladimir Putin’s totalitarian regime to stifle all information and comments.

The encrypted messaging service (so far widely criticized for allowing politicians to keep their dirty deeds private) has been a ray of light in the darkest of disputes.

Meta’s Facebook also appears to have moved quickly to take down a large number of fake Russian accounts, one of the Kremlin’s favorite whistles of the hacking house.

Facebook, of course, has been lambasted for allowing Russians and others to interfere in the US election. It is obviously more difficult now to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. What does Nick Clegg do?

Twitter has also been a way for the Ukrainian government and military to quickly communicate with the people.

Are social networks waging a good war? Given the historical ability of Facebook and others to shoot themselves in the foot, it might be a little early to make such a judgment. But it is an improvement.

PS Donald Trump should be thankful he no longer has a Twitter account (and his own alternative doesn’t work.) The Donald initially praised Putin, though he changed his tune after the white-coated aides persuaded him to lie down. Even diehard Republicans have to agree that such a crackpot leading the United States would be a global disaster.


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