The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.
Three Tweets to Midnight: Nuclear Crisis Stability and the Information Ecosystem

58th Strategy for Peace Conference
Policy Dialogue Brief
February 2018

How might a nuclear crisis play out in today’s media environment? What dynamics in this information ecosystem—with social media increasing the volume and velocity of information, disrupting journalistic models, creating potent vectors for disinformation, opening public channels for adversaries to influence national leaders, and changing how political leaders interact with constituencies—might threaten rational decision making during crises between nuclear-armed states?

There are still many unknowns about the effects of social media on international conflict. Digital disinformation and influence campaigns have already been used by foreign adversaries to interfere in democratic elections and have played roles in low-intensity international conflicts. But leaders have not been tested in high-stakes security crises in this media environment. It is worth asking what new dynamics leaders would face and whether this affects the likelihood that a conflict could escalate, potentially to include the threatened or actual use of nuclear weapons.

This brief provides a framework for identifying such questions. It identifies several disruptive dynamics in the information ecosystem. It then looks at the psychology of decision making and asks when during the arc of a crisis the information ecosystem might have significant detrimental influence. It also recognizes that technology may be empowering new actors who have stabilizing effects on the information ecosystem and could promote accuracy and informed decisions. The brief concludes with a series of open questions deserving further examination.

Share: Email Facebook Twitter
Catherine Miller Explorer Awards: Where in the World Do You Want to Go? Catherine Miller Explorer Awards: Where in the World Do You Want to Go?
Attention all full-time Muscatine Community School District and Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School K-12 teachers, for the 2019-2020 school year, the Stanley Foundation announces: Catherine Miller Explorer Awards. Enter the drawing.

60th Strategy for Peace Conference 60th Strategy for Peace Conference
The Stanley Foundation convenes its Strategy for Peace Conference annually to consider key policy challenges, drawing on the experience and knowledge of invited experts from the public and private sectors.

Concurrent roundtables focused on each of the foundation’s three current areas of programming—climate changenuclear policy, and mass violence and atrocities. These roundtable discussions are intended to generate group consensus recommendations for policy change and multilateral action. More.

Courier Courier
The Spring 2019 issue of Courier highlights some of the impact-driven activities the Stanley Foundation pursue with its partners. This includes stories that resulted from two journalism workshops: one examining the false missile alert in Hawaii, as well as one focused on issues of conflict and instability. This issue also examines how Green Banks could help bridge the climate finance gap, explores a new initiative that hopes to bring gender equity to the nuclear field, and brings you the stories of three teachers who enhanced their understanding of the world through travel. Spring 2019 PDF. Subscribe for Free.

the latest the latest
Our bimonthly newsletter is filled with resources to keep you up to date with our work at the Stanley Foundation. Each edition includes news about recent publications and stories as well as features our people and partners.

You will also find many extras, from upcoming events to multimedia resources. 

Sign up for the latest to stay engaged on key global issues.

Receive Materials Receive Materials
The Stanley Foundation publishes policy briefs, analytical articles, and reports on a number of international issues. To reduce our carbon footprint and cut waste, we almost exclusively, use electronic distribution for our publications. Sign up to receive our resources via e-mail.

The Stanley Foundation: Part of COP24 The Stanley Foundation: Part of COP24
As a part of our efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the foundation put forward policy ideas to achieve a global turning point in emissions by 2020, built upon efforts to catalyze global climate action by countries and sub- and non-state actors, and worked with journalists to strengthen coverage of the UN climate negotiations.