The Critical Status of Social Media 

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Alex Sharpe shares a post from the archives that illustrates the pertinence and importance of social media as critical infrastructure. 

“If you can spy on a network, you can manipulate it. It is already included. The only thing you need is an active will.”Michael Hayden, Former Director, NSA and Former Director, CIA.

Social Media is getting lots of attention especially with the upcoming election. There is good reason, but Social Media is not only an election issue.

Social Media has changed the way we work and live. It has helped us navigate national emergencies like Covid-19, wildfires, tornadoes and floods. It has created new business models. Social Media has created entire industries and countless jobs. The average person is more affected and more dependent on social media than they realize. Social Media is used every day without giving it a second thought.

According to the Pew Research Center, three fourths of adults in the United States get their news from Social Media and email. What chaos would ensue if Social Media suddenly disappeared or you could not trust what was there? How much more difficult would your life have been during Covid-19 without Social Media to inform, to communicate or to stay connected?

Is it time to consider Social Media a Critical Infrastructure (CI) like telecommunications, transportation, and our financial system? The rest of the world seems to think so. Maybe it is time to make it official. 

According to Infragard, Critical Infrastructure is defined as:

‘…the assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.’

 

Key points include:

  • The incapacitation or destruction of social media
  • The perception of social media as a free service
  • Social Media based attacks

 

Read the full article, “Is Social Media Critical Infrastructure?“​, on LinkedIn.