'Social Media is an uncontrollable evil - that could win this war for the good'

People take part in a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, to denounce the Russian invasion of

A demonstration in Trafalgar Square denouncing the Russian invasion of Ukraine - Credit: PA

There aren’t many times when, as someone devoted to putting pen to paper, I’m lost for what to add.

In light of the past two weeks, I, like many others have been subjected to a whirlwind of confusing and very new emotions. These have come mostly in response not to just the information of TV and newspapers, but a new variant of news via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

For much of western world, the past 10 years have been an ongoing excavation into the myriad evils of the social media age. As of recent Netflix have, with shows like Don’t F**K With Cats, The Tinder Swindler and Inventing Anna, indulged our anxiety around a new world of criminal opportunism and macabre that social media has created.

Oliver Shasha

Oliver Shasha is concerned about 'the social media age' - Credit: Oliver Shasha

When we open our history books (more likely an online equivalent) in a hundred years, the first 20 years of social media will be about misinformation, about privacy breaches and about scandals. That is at least, until two weeks ago.

On the day of writing, president Volodymyr Zelenskyy posts a video, himself reacting to another wave of unprovoked Russian attacks on Ukraine. His daily uploads are viewed and shared millions of times, so much so that social media, in a Darth Vader-esque turnaround, is playing an unforeseen role in an inexplicable war.

In the first example of a large scale European war in the social media age, each and every user has adopted a role in this conflict. Every share, every like, every follow of the barbarism that is happening right now is contributing to the demise of a tyranny known only to us previously in textbooks and archives.

Perhaps unexpectedly, photos, videos and all other accounts of scenes on the ground have become a vehicle for capturing the hearts and minds of the world’s online presence. A resulting outpour of contempt for Russia and adoration for the many brave Ukrainians is mounting pressure on a leader who thought that the job would’ve been done by now.

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Let’s hope when we open that textbook in a hundred years, this chapter will read: “It was the unpredictable advent of once-derided social media platforms, that helped win the war for the good”.

Oliver Shasha is the bassist with the band FEET.