Facebook, YouTube, and the Future of Nonproliferation

Bryan Lee
Margarita Zolotova
February 4, 2014

cns_reportAnyone who is online knows that social media is a powerful way to communicate. Revolutions have been Tweeted, and more than one global organization hopes you like their Facebook page. But how useful is all of this, really? Can social media solve nonproliferation challenges? The State Department asked CNS to find out.

Frankly, I was something of a skeptic, but eager to see if there were any facts behind the hype.

My co-author and I (with smart input from a host of colleagues) spent about a year trying to make sense of it all. It turned out to be a lot harder than I expected, mostly because we learned no one had ever tried to tie all the pieces together before. What we ended up with is a comprehensive look at the online universe from a nonproliferation perspective. Starting from the top, we show how to approach the “New Media” world, and then dig into some  examples we think are relevant for the nonproliferation domain.

So, what’s it all good for? I won’t spoil things by giving you the answer, but I can say the potential is enormous. If you want to know what’s out there, how it works, and how all of this applies to the nonproliferation world, take a look at New Media Solutions in Nonproliferation and Arms Control: Opportunities and Challenges. And don’t worry, because it was funded by the V-Fund, we include a brief Executive Summary.

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