The Double Edge of the Information Sword

The Double Edge of the Information Sword

Aki-Mauri Huhtinen (Department of Leadership and Military Pedagogy, Finnish National Defence University, Helsinki, Finland)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/IJCWT.2015040102
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Abstract

In 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its clandestine propaganda machine, the West became increasingly confident that globalization supported by an information technology network, the Internet, would increase openness, liberalism, and democracy; the core values of the ‘free world'. Western leaders knew then, just as they know now, a quarter of a century later that the power of the Internet would grow as the technology that controls its use develops. And developed it has. However, no development is all good and the Internet is no exception. It seems that the technology that has enabled us to create a “global village” where people are able to communicate in a way that is open, free and that bypasses the encumbrances of class and ethnicity has also brought with it a very dark underworld, an uncontrolled rhizome or meshwork, where propaganda, trolling and hate speeches are rife.
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The Rhizome

Computer culture theorists have identified the richly interconnected, heterogeneous and somewhat anarchic aspect of the Internet as characterizing a social condition that is rhizomatic (Coyne 2014). During the last quarter of a century, the usefulness of the Internet has become apparent across all domains (individual, social, political, military and business). People are able to access the Internet all over the world without any specific training or skill. We do not have to concern ourselves with the technical side of the Internet, nor study in detail how to communicate using social media. Official messages in the course of our work can be dispatched as easily as private communications. Similarly, our emotions and rational thinking may become intertwined due to the ease and immediacy of such communications.

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