The Rock Ethics Institute’s Children, Youth, and Media in International and Global Conflict Zones Initiative presents:
“Diaspora Youth as Cyberwarriors when Their Homeland is at War” by Dmitry Chernobrov
Hosted by Yael Warshel, Founding Director of the Children, Media and Conflict Zones Lab
How do diasporas fight on social media when their homeland is at war? This talk will present findings from a study about young Armenians aged 18–35 in seven nations and their involvement in online information wars during the 2020 Karabakh conflict. I examine their motivations for engaging in social media activism, strategies and methods of promoting the Armenian narrative, vision of the online opponent, and perceived outcomes of their efforts. Besides investigating this recent case of diaspora youth mobilizing on social media during armed conflict, the study offers broader conclusions about youth, social media, and participatory warfare. I demonstrate how social media enable participatory war that is transnational, monologic, empowering and escalatory, involving individual and networked tactics, and culturally and politically transformative.