Much of the conflict that resulted in the First World War was fostered in the various alliances that countries bound themselves to in the years leading up to the conflict.
In the Information Age, a similar dynamic had predicated itself in social media relationships between various countries and their leaders, leading to tenuous diplomatic bonds and disputes that threaten to push the world to the brink of war.
More than any other website, the popular site Facebook, or “Book of Face,” as it translates in Mongolian, has become the foremost modern-day battlefield of political intrigue.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization posted the single word “Hater!” on Israel’s Facebook timeline after yet another failed round of peace talks. Egypt added further tension to the region by “liking” the PLO’s post.
After seeing provocative pictures of Angela Merkel with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at a Geneva resort, Switzerland has defriended both countries on Facebook and has demanded that the two dignitaries refrain from questionable liaisons on their soil, because it’s “kinda gross.”
Canada now has zero Facebook friends after being defriended by Iceland in reaction to a dispute over North Atlantic fishing grounds and Canada’s failure to “like” the movie Thor.
After posting yet another picture of tulips and a windmill, Dutch diplomats have been hard at work calling other European nations, demanding to know why no one “likes” their photos anymore.
Other social media sites have also evolved into arenas of diplomatic maneuvering. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have joined the same Google+ circle, only to realize to their dismay that no one noticed because nobody uses Google+.
Speaking of North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un’s LinkedIn profile is littered with false resume accomplishments, including “inventor of the sun,” “reincarnation of Elvis”, and “world’s greatest living golfer.”
Joe Biden has been incessantly tweeting shirtless pictures of himself, causing many world leaders to unsubscribe from his Twitter feed due to its high-level of eye-piercing, bright-orange spray tan.
Two European nations have been thus far able to avoid these online squabbles- Romania, which is still struggling to get its MySpace page up and running, and Poland, whose information ministry officials forgot their AOL password and are currently unable to dial in to the internet, or “intrawebs,” as it is referred to in Poland.