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On the impact of social media like TikTok on war, I agree with Susan Sontag in the article that photos have a deeper meaning than videos when it comes to documenting war, and that a photo taken at the scene can be remembered for generations. I remember seeing Robert Capa's The Falling Soldier in my history book when I was in elementary school. That was the first time I had a visual understanding of war and death. To this day, I still can't forget the soldier falling backward with a bullet in his body in the picture. But the traditional way of reporting on war, in which war correspondents walk on the edge of death, is also dangerous. According to what I learned online, Robert Capa was killed in Vietnam. Capa's ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam The way people receive news has changed dramatically, with the growth of social media such as Tiktok. In World War II, people learned about the war on the radio, and in the 1960s, people learned about the Vietnam War through the evening news on TV. And now, we can learn about war news through social media at anytime, anywhere. While short videos are faster than traditional reports from war correspondents, they are also full of fake news. For example, when a residential building was shelled in Chuguyev, eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 24, Anadolu Agency photographer Wolfgang Schwan took a picture of a wounded person at the scene. The photo was soon made into a video and went viral on Tiktok. However, some media outlets pointed out that the photo was not taken in Ukraine but was an old photo taken during a gas explosion in Magnitogorsk, Russia, in 2018. This lack of credibility is not a minority opinion. There are Various fake videos are flying around on TikTok. For example, the rumored video of the Kyiv Ghost battle that shot down six Russian fighters in one day is, miraculously, a scene from the air combat simulation game Digital Combat Simulation. There is also the video of the Ukrainian soldier who moved countless netizens to say goodbye to his girlfriend in tears, which is a clip from the movie "The War of Chimeras."

Tiana & Deana

Accessibility to the internet has given the world brand new means to document current events. As illustrated in the article above it’s been used to document the Ukraine war. Direct videos from the people experience the horrors of war uploaded straight to social media for people to see exactly as it is happening. On one hand, it is a incredible insight into what war actually is and looks like, but on the other the social media aspect has lead to people faking videos that spread misinformation about what is really going on. In the digital era everything is digitized, progress, political information, your interests, and war too. It’s the beginning of a whole new era of how we see and receive information from events. Although the traditional photographic journalism is still very much a part of how we see the world, social media is minute by minute, real time, live journalism. Unfortunately, as said previously, it is hard to know what is real and what is fake news. I agree that you can not replace the way traditional photographic journalism records history in some ways but in other ways social media has it's own way of recording history as it unfolds right before our eyes. I believe this world has room for both journalistic ways.


Nowadays, people use social media to stay updated on various events happening around the world. In the article about the Ukraine war, the country receives sympathy from people through the social media platform TikTok in just one clip. It is also true that what people post on social media can be believed by many people without hearing the other side of the story; therefore, everyone should be cautious when posting on social media, as the saying goes, "Think before you click." Aside from that, journalism used TikTok to document the war between Ukraine and Russia to inform people about what is going on in the country since TikTok has a larger user base than Facebook, and journalists in not just using TikTok to join on the trend. TikTok is one of the best apps for staying updated through the video clips captured in real life and is considered a reliable source.

James Cowlishaw

In the New York Times article, author Kyle Chaya exposes readers to the broadcasting of the war in Ukraine via TikTok. The reading starts off by mentioning a TikTok video in which missiles are being dropped over Ukraine like fireworks. I remember seeing this video on my feed and being horrified. One blogger mentions, “Direct videos from the people experiencing the horrors of war uploaded straight to social media for people to see exactly as it is happening”. Although videos of the war are hard to watch, TikTok was a beneficial source that has shown the world the horrors that have been occurring in Ukraine. While it is proven to be used for good, the blogger suggests that the platform has also been the posting of videos with misinformation that can be rather detrimental. The blogger stated, “On one hand, it is an incredible insight into what war actually is and looks like, but on the other the social media aspect has led to people faking videos that spread misinformation about what is really going on”. Despite the tumultuous times, TikTok has given those who live in Ukraine a voice. Ukrainians have been able to expose the world to the evil reality of Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Dalyn Annunziata

Social media has absolutely changed and taken over the society that we live in today. Everywhere you look there is someone blogging, posting, snapchatting etc. This ease of access to posting, virtually anything you want, can bring a lot of positives and negatives to life. In this article there are a lot of negatives to focus on. With the ongoing political arguments that our society is wrapped in 24/7, there are plenty of words and videos that people post, talking about this topic. Explained in this article, a TikTok posted by an individual in Ukraine, took a video of the skies being bombarded with missiles and just very violent imagery. There was a song over it with very sad lyrics playing. This can establish some sort of intimacy between the publisher and the viewer. This intimacy forces viewers to feel bad for the people in Ukraine but it also can bring a sense of false information. If viewers are only seeing missiles and explosions when they search up Ukraine in TikTok, the citizens of the country will feel horrible. Their country is only being represented in a negative light and receiving loads of pity from foreigners who do not really know the real situation. Misinformation and drama are two huge factors when posting about war on social media. First of all, you are not seeing the full story and seeing violence forces viewers to fill in the blanks and make false assumptions. These false assumptions cause drama and it just leads to a very poor matter.


Kyle Chayka informs readers in the article about the possibility of viewing the Ukrainian war in real time. Social media platforms such as Tik Tok allow people all over the world to be informed of what is going on in Ukraine. I personally have seen many of these tragic videos while scrolling through the app and being in shock. It's incredible how far technology has progressed to the point where soldiers are documenting the war through their own eyes rather than a journalist following them around and capturing shots on a single image. However, I feel the war has become so normal to us that we are overlooking how traumatizing this event is for the people of Ukraine. In previous wars, they have been captured by photographers or televised, but we now have the opportunity to view them 24/7 on our phones while also watching clips of people dancing. Many of the videos are graphic, but Tik Tok has been a great source for showing the devastating effects of war. There has been a spread of misinformation that can sway the thoughts of viewers, but as a whole, it has had many useful effects. Even though these atrocities are occurring daily, Tik Tok has allowed Ukrainians to document what is truly happening to them.


My prayers go out to the people of the Ukraine and all of the groups and organizations helping those directly impacted by the war.

Jake Dzurus

Unfortunately wars occur, and as much as we try to hide from it, social media and the internet have made it very difficult to ignore. The war in Ukraine has been documented since the start, with thousands of videos surfacing online of the conflict. It is still up for debate whether or not these videos provide meaningful impact and information. Many videos lack context, clear images, or don't tell the whole story. Misinformation and lies can be easily spread, and now with advancements in online technology, it is even easier. The article references a video of missiles raining down onto a town, yet without further examination, research, and context, it is unclear which town, which side, and any prior knowledge of the situation. Majority of users online will not spend the appropriate time to fact check short videos on Tiktok. Other bloggers comment their feelings upon seeing the videos, they admit they felt sad, or upset. They mention how some videos can be hard to watch yet expose the true nature of these situations. Other bloggers mention traditional journalism versus the new era of social media journalism, and how there is a need to keep both. This is important as those not wanting to see direct footage or videos can still engage in articles and official written documents by traditional journalism. As social media expands, more content will arise. It is important to remain informed and not be too heavily influenced by everything you see on social media.


I greatly agree with regie who posted to this thread on 7/14/22, on the potentially limited perspective media can enforce online. The media is now being shared among TikTok and similar applications often reinforce the viewer’s initial perspective on the perceived topic through a lack of context. This although initially thought to be possibly a negative value of this media has now proved beneficial as this can work to garner support for a cause that may not have effective news coverage and can boost support worldwide as its reach is only hampered by access to the internet. In addition, I believe the creation of a sub-culture that personifies and amplifies these edited or fabricated war themes and events marks a new step in the way war is documented by journalists and individuals alike, as now anybody with a phone or cheap camera can send raw unedited footage directly through the same channels millions of people use every day. No longer does footage get leaked into the public eye, now it is shared amongst people freely and is distributed directly to millions. To continue, especially regarding the topic of unedited footage, it seems to be becoming more mainstream. As someone who has grown up with complete exposure to the Internet, it is fascinating to see how divisive it is, and how much similar it can prove to be like a labyrinth to find the reality of a post. In this way, I believe it is eerily similar to a digital rendition of the allegory of the cave, making it difficult to filter useful information from charades of what appears to be.


In "Watching the World’s “First TikTok War," Kyle Chayka discusses the unique role of social media, particularly TikTok, in documenting the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Chayka argues that these user-generated videos provide a more immediate and relatable perspective on the war, creating a sense of intimacy and empathy among viewers. While traditional photojournalism captures the action on the front lines, TikTok videos offer a granular and firsthand glimpse into the lives of those affected by the conflict. Chayka also acknowledges the downsides of consuming war updates through digital media, such as the difficulty in verifying the authenticity of content and the potential for misinformation to spread rapidly. Despite these challenges, Chayka suggests that social media, flawed as it may be, has become a crucial source of information during the war. I agree with Chayka's assessment that the proliferation of TikTok videos has allowed viewers to connect with the Ukrainian cause in a more personal and relatable way. The use of familiar social media formats and references creates a sense of shared experience, blurring the boundaries between distant victims and online communities. These videos capture both the serious and the mundane aspects of life in a war zone, evoking a range of emotions and prompting viewers to imagine themselves in similar circumstances. Moreover, Chayka rightly points out the limitations of traditional photojournalism in providing a comprehensive view of the war. While powerful and enduring, individual photographs can only capture specific moments and perspectives. In contrast, TikTok videos offer a continuous stream of content that unfolds in real time, providing a more immediate and immersive experience. This form of documentation allows for a deeper understanding of the daily realities faced by those affected by the conflict. However, it is crucial to remain cautious about the reliability and accuracy of information shared on social media platforms. Chayka acknowledges the challenges in verifying the authenticity of videos and the potential for misinformation to spread rapidly. As consumers of digital media, we should be critical and discerning, fact-checking when possible and seeking out multiple sources of information.

Allison Hua

This article focuses on the social media coverage Tik Tok has provided regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Chayka argues that the raw footage behind Tik Toks posted by individuals experiencing the atrocities of war is one of the most reliable news sources one can have, as individuals directly experiencing the war can showcase firsthand what they are experiencing on a day-to-day basis. Chayka argues that because the videos on Tik Tok come firsthand from individuals experiencing the war, it provides one of the most direct glimpses into the realities of what is happening during the war. Chayka argues that this is different from professional journalism and photography, as war journalism and photography do not traditionally come from individuals experiencing the war, but rather from the perspective of outside journalists and photographers. Through the utilization of social media, such as Tik Tok, individuals directly experiencing the war can share their experiences with others to raise awareness regarding the realities of war. I disagree with Chayka’s take on the prevalence of social media platforms such as Tik Tok being a positive way to broadcast what occurs during wartime. I disagree because I believe that by using social media, such as Tik Tok to spread information and awareness about the war, individuals who are scrolling through may not realize the severity of what is happening, and may begin to become desensitized to it. For example, if an individual watches a Tik Tok about the war in Ukraine, then scrolls and sees a commercial for shampoo, the severity, and weight of the subject matter of what they see is not as prevalent. Because Tik Tok can desensitize users about the seriousness of the war in Ukraine, I do not think that the utilization of Tik Tok as a social media platform to spread awareness about the war is a positive thing. Additionally, because social media is not very well regulated and fact-checked in comparison to journals, there is a higher risk of false information being spread across the internet. As a result, it is easier for false information about the war to be spread across social media, resulting in negative consequences for individuals who are at war. Therefore, I do not believe that the use of Tik Tok's social media platform to spread war news is a positive influence on social media users.

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