Young People and the Dark Side of Social Media : Possible Threats to National Security
Norri-Sederholm, Teija; Riikonen, Reetta; Moilanen, Panu; Huhtinen, Aki-Mauri (2020). Young People and the Dark Side of Social Media : Possible Threats to National Security. In Eze, Thaddeus; Speakman, Lee; Onwubiko, Cyril (Eds.) ECCWS 2020 : Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, Proceedings of the European conference on information warfare and security. Academic Conferences International, 278-283.
© The Author(s) 2019
Social media is increasingly becoming a forum for criminality, misuse, and hate speech, as there are no filters or other controlling mechanisms to filter user-generated content.Furthermore, disinformation and propaganda are becoming more sophisticated and harder to track. Hence, this dark side of social media can pose a viable threat to national security. Future generations will be born into an environment of polluted and polarised online information networks. Consequently, young people, many of whom use social media on a daily basis, will have to find ways to survive in these circumstances,often without the help, knowledge, or experience of earlier generations. Thus, young people are at risk of becoming predisposed to all kinds of harmful material, which, in turn, can affect their thinking and behaviour. This can lead to many new threats to national security. This study focuses on the observations of police officers on the current trends and threats youngsters face on the dark side of social media. The aim was to examine possible threats to national security related to young people’s social media use based on data from three semi-structured interviews with police officers working in Preventive Measures Units. The analysis was done using inductive content analysis. Based on the analysis, there are three main threats to national security concerning young people’s social media use: the amount of false information available online, the glorification of violence and crime, and large-scale gatherings and swarming. The results indicate that although most young people’s social media use is harmless, social media platforms can also be used in a way that threatens national security. Many of the threats posed by young people’s social media use have not yet been realised. However, it is important to be aware of the risks and be prepared for any possible negative outcomes in order to maintain national security. ...