War and Twitter: How Social Media is Changing Warfare

Ryan Fredrick, Reporter

Soon after the drone that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the mastermind of Tehran’s regional military Quds Force and one of the most popular leaders of the Islamic Republic on Jan. 3, President Trump was tweeting and retweeting posts defending his actions. 

With social media being so prevalent in today’s society, conflicts have another front: an over-glorified Twitter battle. But something as dramatic and soul-crushing as war should not be treated as a childish argument. 

The next large-scale war that America is involved in is going to be the first war where social media is involved. A war with Iran would most likely be a Cold-War situation, according to war analysts, with neither country making any dramatic moves, but social media would ensure that the conflict will stay prevalent. Trying to forget about the conflict would be a test of human curiosity. Every time someone would refresh their feed, they would see two global leaders tweeting each other aggressive 140 character paragraphs. 

Also, the unprofessional attitude  President Trump has shown in the last four years proves that these social-media battles would not be mature and informative but rather childish insults such as “rocket-man” that President Trump once used to describe the North Korean dictator Kim-Jong-Un on Twitter. 

Lives are at stake and President Trump’s first response is to protect himself on Twitter. Furthermore, having celebrities, authors and other influencers able to join in the conversation creates more childish battles. 

For example, author Stephen King was blocked on Twitter by President Trump because King was very open about his opinion on Trump on Twitter. The President of the United States has no place blocking people on social media who disagree with him. 

Social media and war should be separated. Having war and social media in the same category diminishes the significance of war because of the immature nature of the apps, while brave men and women are dying by the masses,