Do you remember my Tweets of War? That is the post in which I hypothesized that the rebels in Libya could use social networks to provide the coordinates of loyalists to the Allied troops in order to identify targets to bomb? Well, it looks like that a couple of months ago I was a good prophet, since the tweets of war were effectively real.
As a matter of fact today Wired confirmed that NATO used Twitter as the newest bombing tool (the information was originally reported by AFP)
Twitter and Facebook are among a wide range of media and other sources NATO’s intelligence officers monitor around-the-clock to identify potential targets in the air war against Kadhafi’s troops, the officials said.
“We will take information from every source we can,” said British Wing Commander Mike Bracken, the Libya operation’s military spokesman. “We get information from open sources on the Internet, we get Twitter.”
What follows is a Tweet of War from the original article collected a couple of months ago, indicating possible coordinates in the city of Misrata:
Of course, reputation is the main security concern, so that an anonymous official stressed that any information is checked against other more reliable sources such as satellite imagery and other traditional intelligence gathering before any jets are deployed.
With no doubt this evidence shows the real power and the primary role played in modern wars of what I called Mobile Warfare, that is the use of mobile technologies and social networks to turn the tide of a conflict.
Thanks to David for identifying the tweets and suggesting me the article from Wired.
- Tweets Of War (paulsparrows.wordpress.com)
- Mobile Warfare (paulsparrows.wordpress.com)
- NATO’s Newest Bombing Tool: Twitter (wired.com)