Memetic warfare

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noun: warfare
  1. engagement in or the activities involved in war or conflict.
    “guerrilla warfare”
    synonyms: fightingwarcombatconflict, armed conflict, struggle, military action, hostilities; More

    antonyms: peaceharmony

Memetic warfare — defined here as information operations and psychological warfare conducted through the Internet and social media. In today’s hyper-connected Information Age, the ultimate battle space is over our beliefs, narratives, and ways of viewing the world — in other words, our memes.

Information operations involve the collection and dissemination of information to establisha competitive advantage over an opponent. Memetic warfare could also be viewed as a ‘digital native’ version of psychological warfare, more commonly known as propaganda. If propaganda and public diplomacy are conventional forms of memetic warfare, then trolling and PSYOPs are guerrilla versions.

Cyber warfare is about taking control of data. Memetic warfare is about taking control of the dialogue, narrative, and psychological space. It is about denigrating, disrupting, and subverting the enemy’s effort to do the same. Like cyber warfare, memetic warfare is asymmetrical in impact. It can be highly effective relative to cost. The attack surface can be large or small. Memetic warfare can be used in conjunction with troops, ships, aircraft, and missiles, or it can be employed without any kinetic military force at all. It operates in the communications battlespace.

A: Excuse me, Benny. Does this hotel have a fitness facility?

B: Yes, Mr. Beckman, we try to accommodate all needs of our patrons, including fitness.

A: Where is your fitness facility located?

B: The gym is just below the lobby. Take the elevator or the stairs. You can’t miss it.

A: Is there an additional surcharge for the gym?

B: No, the gym is free to guests. Take your room key, however, so you can get in, Mr. Beckman.

A: What time is the gym open, and what time does it close?

B: The gym is open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.

A: Oh, I see.