The social media originally developed to help people establish relationships worldwide is towards upheaval. The social media’s superb quality of quick sharing without regional borders has contributed to vicious exploitation such as spying, breeding of discrimination, bigotry, hatred and others along various races and communities. This campaign is particularly impactful on communities with nescience and gullibility who are mindless to judge about good and bad.
However, the social media has happened to be instrumental in many ways in the same poor nations. The social networking has been helpful in calling for enormous civil movements to protest injustice, enforcement of governments into taking action about a concern, disclosure of cases of frauds and corruptions, emergence of true masterminds and masterworks. But it carries even further and perilous disadvantages to a victim nation, if not so much to advanced western countries.
Afghanistan has large less-educated populations who are blindly bogged down into the world of social media and fall into the domain of fabricated and misguiding information of warmongers. The social media by far expedited the effort to shape up public minds. Apart from global problems associated with social media, the same evil-doers bombing the Afghan nation are working to spawn psychological disorder and deep-seated rifts and discord among the nation.
The social media supplies these warring powers with quick data about any movements and even subtle intentions in communities in sensitive regions. The data monitoring powers can retrieve your vocal communication on chatting apps, locate you with GPS and draw a general picture of a community’s trends, sentiments, likes or dislikes and secrets, all by virtue of social media on your Smartphone. To this end, the rollout of free-of-charge social networking applications or newer versions of Smartphones into the market which is enabling cyber espionage is welcomed.
Afghanistan is intended to rot intellectually by getting immersed in a viable war of words, opinions, languages, sects and regions. The waged crooks build profiles under pseudonyms of a renowned public figure or a best-selling artist or an activist and work to ignite a wave of tensions in the form of provocative posts along a community of different languages, religions, ethnics and races.
The covert war propagandists are spending ample funds to incite a soft war over an already intense armed war to mentally subdue progressive folks. This is particularly plausible because of absence of an advanced cyber security system in countries like Afghanistan. Crimes related to virtual world [social media] is termed as cyber crimes in many countries which are dealt with punishment of sorts. The scarcity of the same law in Afghanistan has persuaded meddlers to daringly enter into communities on social media and indulge in sabotaging, hate-spreading and splitting.
A flurry of campaign is directed on social media to force people into flight by sharing fearsome posts and generate a state of brain drain in Afghanistan. Although violence may exist at its climax, but relating to many feared issues, evil propagandists amplify the threat to trigger flight of elites, divestment and a state of desperation and forlorn hope for future.
A Reuters report in 2014 shed light on Iran’s utilization of social media as a means of intelligence. The Iranian hackers created false social media accounts to spy on military and political leaders, ambassadors and personnel from the US, Israel, Afghanistan, Britain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria. It was successful in so doing. According to reports, the Iranian hackers built fictitious profiles posing as famous media crew or defense contractors or so others to befriend targets after securing ties with victims’ friends, relatives and affiliates on social media including facebook and twitter.
For Iran, riding a cyber intervention in unsecured Afghanistan is not a big deal, so is for even aggressive state of Pakistan, an ally of the US. They believe a nation may never succumb by wreaking havoc or bombing unless its brain force [intellectual segment] is put to decay by being fiercely involved in a vortex of mental war.
The US government needs the data received from across social media to stay abreast of situation and thwart attempts of revolution, social outbursts, revolt, rebellion, massive demonstration and others not only in home, but essentially in occupied countries such as Afghanistan. The social activism through facebook and twitter has striking examples within the US. According to an analysis, emotions and reactions behind almost 29 million tweets or facebook posts about four events in 2014 and 2015 gave birth to the Black Lives Matter movement. It prompted rallies and protests in the US. It fostered a sense of solidarity among black communities there.
According to Al-Hayat daily, facebook is a crucial weapon of intelligence for Israel’s Mossad. It keeps a watchful eye on Palestinian’s life and steals important data from target individuals. Reportedly, the intelligence agency has created a myriad of facebook accounts and each hired officer runs a few of them. Under hectic and precarious situation in occupied Palestinian territories, Israel is curious to collect data about rallying points of resistance movements, mentality, psychological condition as well as public reaction to deadly events.
After receiving the target’s IP address, these agents send links to them under the guise of music/video/image download and penetrate into the personal data right after the victim clicks on the link. Thereinafter, the intelligence officers could view or record whatever happens therein. The Egyptian government had forbidden the use of Viber instant-messaging app among army members for a while after learning about Israel’s spying intents.
The Viber media is founded by Israeli-American Talmon Marco, a graduate of Tel Aviv University’s computer science department and a veteran of Israel’s defense force. These free applications whether premeditatedly built for intelligence purpose or later put into such use is capable of recovering vocal evidences and text messages from around the world.
Leaping into Arab world, the same social media websites played groundbreaking part in sparking Arab Spring. It helped quickened communications and interactions among those involved in political protests. It greased the wheel of violence after people used it to organize pro- and anti-government demonstrations, disseminate information about sedition and most importantly enabled far-regional observers to stay aware of events and disasters in the vivid form.
Some governments blocked access to social media. According to studies, nine out of ten Egyptians and Tunisians used it for protests and awareness-raising, yet the number was quite lower for Syrians and Yemenis.
In Ukraine-Russia tensions, Ukrainian president banned Russian social networking sources including Vkontakte and Odnoklassnik countrywide as part of sanctions imposed on Russia. It believed that the superpower is gaining ground in the country’s political crisis amid annexation of Crimea to Russia.