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Information Warfare on Social Media: A Brand Management Perspective

Abstract

Employing a perspective informed by brand management, this article aims at understanding information warfare operations in social media. The state, seen as brand, must project an image of itself to both internal and foreign audiences to unite the domestic audience and/or attract global support. However, in constructing a brand, states are vulnerable to ‘sofa warriors’ – ordinary individuals who have been unwittingly recruited by hostile actors to disseminate (over social media or other platforms) a counter-brand, harmful to the state concerned. These new threats are investigated in light of recent tendencies in online branding, elucidating their status as a national security threat, with the potential to significantly disrupt life in political communities.

Open access