Interviews conducted by Majed Al-Braikan:
Dr. Bashayer Al-Sanea, professor of communication and digital media at the University of Kuwait, believes that the time of traditional wars is about to end, to be replaced by soft wars with all its tools and resources, and explains that alliances and political agreements between countries increase the demand for soft war between them, using cunning methods.
Bashayer, who has a Master’s degree in Communication Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Marketing, confirms that gentle warriors often take advantage of celebrities, social media and electronic flies, to launch war from various directions, and achieve goals that do not go. . besides distorting the reputation of the adversary, erasing facts and entrenching rumors in minds, and spreading chaos. .
In fair terms, Dr. Bashayer announced that the Arab Gulf states are being targeted by soft war, using all their various instruments, noting that the alliance between the Gulf states is a must in the face of that war, and warning that the danger of soft war is large and dangerous, whether for countries or institutions. Here is the text of the dialogue:
• You mentioned in a television interview that there is a soft media war … What do you mean by these wars?
Wars are now rarely actually fought with tanks and missiles, but are either biological, cyber or media, and we are here to talk about the third type, where war is hidden, intelligent and indirect. War with soft power, media propaganda and systematic campaigns aim to attack another country, distort its reputation and camouflage and disguise the facts so that individuals are no longer able to distinguish between what reality reflects and which is not falsifying, leading to the creation of a new identity for this country, which is ruled and consolidated by cumulative implantation.In our minds, it is a monster professionally produced in the media.
Take a hashtag
• What are the forms of soft war and how is it activated and used?
* The soft war uses search engines, hashtags, hashtags, trends and media channels in their various forms, such as movies, television, social media and others, so that certain ideas about that country are sharpened, its achievements are ignored, and everything that is broadcast about it, is filtered, in line with the pre-planned propaganda agenda.
Soft War also uses celebrities, influencers, intellectuals, media professionals and program presenters, whether they are paid or some media naive, so that it is easy for them to direct and manipulate their emotions and thus fuel the war with their impulsive interaction.
Soft war also uses the strategy of delusion, in which a group pretends to want the public interest and that its bad talk and unjustified criticism are only out of love and zeal for development, while in reality hidden messages are passed on and consolidated, which dispute ignites. and spreading a culture of frustration and consolidation Corruption as a way of life and it reinforces the low public taste and the culture of flatness, pettiness and obscenity as a standard for dealing and deliberation, and creating a state of intellectual , verbal, moral and cultural chaos as in the chaos theory that can be projected on the political and media field, and it shows us how the simple impact of some events leads to unexpected changes or the so-called The Butterfly Effect.
Some of the methods also used in the soft war include media presenting suspicious personalities and nicknaming them, as experts, consultants and activists, to speak ill of the state, in addition to programming targeted tweets and using collisions, false followers and electronic flies, as well as activating the media propaganda machine and controlling the media gate guards and identification The priority is for individuals, and these are media theories, we see their projections daily on the ground, which means that you are not content with one influencer or broadcaster, but rather there is a collective agreement on the organized media attack by collecting the largest number of wage earners and mercenaries with money, jobs, facilities and various temptations and the naivety of some of them and exploit the lack of basic consciousness. The media must deceive individuals internally and externally that what is being broadcast is the opinion of the majority, and thus they are persuaded and affected, and they enter a cycle of silence and media and intellectual loss.
• Mild media wars target the Gulf region in particular, who do you think is behind this war?
* Our countries are blessed by God with abundance coveted by many. We must also always look for “common” interests aimed at weakening, breaking and isolating our countries through direct and indirect means, whether out of greed for their favor or as punishment for certain political positions The state being attacked may be a real or suspected enemy, or just an obstacle in the eyes of those waging a soft media war against it.
The internal war is organized by hired individuals or groups striving for political influence or elites who want to control the state’s goods. A weak country is easy to plunder. As for the external war, states, agencies, groups or parties whose interests conflict with the state being attacked are behind it.
• What is the benefit to those who use it?
* International conventions prevent countries from attacking each other, so the media war internally and externally is the solution to weaken the other party and tarnish its reputation with all the instruments of fraud, incitement and provocation, in order to profit from ‘ to undermine another country, whether sporting, artistic, scientific or historical, with the aim of spreading and consolidating the culture of frustration, corruption, vulgarity, flatness, betrayal and agitation in that society, in addition to the external distortion of reputation of its citizens, so that the state and the people are challenged as – for example – a state of corruption, delay and ruin, and that its people are racist, corrupt, vulgar and failed.
• In your opinion, how do you handle these soft media wars?
* Building a patriotic sense of intelligence to protect national identity, provided it is also consolidated in school curricula, as well as ensuring and ensuring confrontation with a smart media policy, which includes plans, strategies and a comprehensive and targeted media arsenal that the success of the state’s efforts internally and externally, through an integrated and proactive media vision. Some of these issues should include the building of the national brand, as a political media tool to strengthen the state’s position on the global and local stage economically, politically, militarily and socially, as well as the state’s intelligent and professional media and cultural marketing, in addition. to manage the digital identity and create influencers, consolidate media awareness among the people and many other things, Their details should not be published, media plans are implemented and not published to ensure their success.
• Social media is still full of rumors and imitations, what do you think is the solution to this?
* Strict laws that prevent, deter and hold accountable, and media awareness that enhances the culture of the recipient so that it is not an easy prey for malicious instigators, fraudsters and rumors, in addition to clever media plans that confront and reduce the damage of these cases for society and the state.
• You demanded in one of your media meetings that it was time to stop the media chaos … What’s the point? What is the media chaos? Is there really chaos in the Gulf media?
* Yes, there is media chaos we see daily in trends, hashtags, rumors circulating, directing public opinion, manipulation of information and deep falsifications of photos and videos … All this fuels social strife, political differences, soft wars and the destruction of the reputation of countries.
• We see in the Gulf as a whole, “Social Media” celebrities leading television programs and newspapers, and you have a point of view on it … Is it possible to justify this point of view?
* It’s good if they have the basics of media work, charisma and respect for the taste of the spectator, public taste and the habits of society. These people have their influence on many groups, and if this influence is exploited intelligently, then is all will benefit, in addition to the need to pay attention to the rehabilitation and production of influencers to serve society and the state.
• She demanded the inclusion of “media awareness” at all school levels. What is its purpose?
* Media awareness contributes to the consolidation of critical thinking among individuals, so that they can understand and analyze media messages and propaganda, their causes, the purpose behind them and the underlying meanings in them, and thus children, individuals, society and the state of media chaos and the impact of soft wars.
• Do social media have risks? And if any, what are the highlights?
* We clearly see individuals, countries and international bodies complaining about the dangers of the media and the media, starting with the spread of rumors, social strife, the deterioration of the health of individuals, the disintegration of the family entity, the threat to national security and privacy, the increase in espionage and security breaches, and other matters.
The journalistic scoop
• In your opinion, is the time of the “journalistic scoop” over in the light of the electronic application revolution? Or do you have a different opinion?
* The press scoop has now expanded to become sought after, not only for journalists and professional media, but for anyone who owns a smartphone, so everyone scrambles to film and broadcast news, even if its authenticity has not been verified not, in addition to the publication videos and clips though it has been fabricated, in the hope of gaining The lead in broadcasting and publishing and thus gaining fame, and the consequent access to advertisements and sponsorships, which has become the goal of individuals and the easiest way to success in their eyes. International media organizations have also become increasingly dependent on civic journalism, which competes with media professionals around the scoop.