Influence Techniques Using Social Media


  1. Seaboyer, A.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN);Royal Military Coll of Canada, Kingston Ont (CAN) Dept of Political Science
Social media has drastically changed communication within and toward target audiences in form, frequency and reach. Unparalleled influencing opportunities have emerged from social media’s low production costs, minimal skill sets required and real-time message delivery to platforms audiences voluntarily check constantly - subjecting themselves to near constant influencing activities. The role of information itself has changed both for the consumer and the producer as societies are increasingly information-based. Leaks of top-secret files through social media have proven that there is no longer a realistic expectation of privacy for anyone. In a saturated environment where information is less controlled than ever before, how can social media be more effectively used as an influence capability? This paper explores aspects of social media as an influence capability by contextualizing how it is changing the operating environment, by identifying opportunities and challenges associated with social media exploitation for influence, and by discussing some promising forms of social media exploitation for influence. Social media exploitation for influence targeting promises the greatest operational benefits. Introducing information into the information space is likely to have the largest impact on mission success, for example, in COIN operations as it can reduce the impact of enemy messaging, give those hope that are resisting adversaries, motivate others to support the counter insurg

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influence;intelligence;social media
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-C177 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Sep 2018
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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