Comment: Technology is changing the methods of war and peace

“The catalyst for this quiet revolution comes down to a single reality that is both commonplace and incredible: For the first time in human history, people everywhere — including in impoverished conflict zones — have the ability to take photos, push data, publish text, and send information around the world or down the street with the click of a button. We are all social-media makers now….”

While primarily focusing on countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), this article also uses examples from Colombia, Brazil, and Kenya to discuss how technology – specifically social media  – is impacting war and peace. The discussion focuses around what is being called PeaceTech, which is basically technology used to establish peace or allow for more peaceful transitions (for example: election situations). Now that nearly everyone in the world has access to some form of social media, be it Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube, information can be shared and can penetrate the masses exponentially faster. Interestingly, researchers in these conflict zones have begun to analyze this social media data in order to attempt to predict events like wars, coups, refugee movements, etc. Obviously this has not always been successful, but it is interesting to see these social media tools used in such a way.


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