David Patrikarakos

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David Patrikarakos
Notable work
War in 140 Characters: How social Media is Reshaping conflict in the Twenty-First Century

David Patrikarakos is a British journalist, author and TV producer, best known as the author of War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century.[1][2] He is also a contributing editor at the Daily Beast and a contributing writer at Politico Europe.[3][4] In 2014 he was appointed a Poynter Fellow at Yale University [5] and is currently a Non-Resident Fellow in the School of Iranian Studies, at the University of St Andrews.[6]


Patrikarakos has been described as a British-Greek-Jewish-Iranian-Iraqi.[7] He is descended on his father’s side from the Greek revolutionary and statesman Georgios Sisinis. On his mother’s side he comes from a long line of Sephardi rabbis including the master kabbalist and de facto chief Rabbi of Babylon, Yosef Hayyim.[8]


After post-graduate studies at Wadham College, Oxford, in 2012 Patrikarakos published Nuclear Iran: Birth of An Atomic State, a full history of Iran's nuclear ambitions.[9][10][11] Nuclear Iran was named as a New York Times Editor's Choice and nominated for the 2013 Total Politics Book Awards.[12][13]

His second book, War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century, drew from Patrikarakos' time embedded with forces in the Russian-Ukraine conflict and reporting on the 2014 Hamas-Israel conflict, Operation Protective Edge and ISIS, to explore the increasing role played by social media in modern conflict. It was also the first book to explore the work of Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat, who would rise to prominence following the 2018 poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. On its publication in 2018, Patrikarakos' book was widely reviewed in the international press, including by Ben Judah in The Times, who wrote that "War in 140 Characters should be mandatory reading at Sandhurst".[2][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

In the book Patrikarakos popularises the concept of what he terms Homo Digitalis, the individual that (thanks to the digital revolution, notably the power of social media) is networked, globally connected, and able to wield disproportionate power.[28]

In the military sphere, War in 140 Characters was placed on the reading lists for the Munich Security Conference and the UK's Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies and singled out as essential reading by Admiral Foggo at an October 2018 meeting of the Atlantic Council.[29][30] In January 2018, the incoming head of UK Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Nick Carter concluded his first major policy speech at Royal United Services Institute by calling on the 77 Brigade to observe the lessons of Patrikarakos' book.[31]

War in 140 Characters is in development for a six-part docu-series with triple-Oscar winner Angus Wall.[32]


Patrikarakos started writing on foreign affairs, primarily on Iran, before branching out to cover the Middle East and post-Soviet states more generally, specialising in disinformation. In the course of his career he has written for The New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independentt, the Spectator, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Prospect, New Statesman, Politico, The Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, Reuters, Mashable, Literary Review, CNN, the National Interest and many others.

He has produced several documentary films, including for the Channel 4 series Dispatches.[33]


  1. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times.
  2. ^ a b Judah, Ben (9 December 2017). "Review: War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century by David Patrikarakos". Thetimes.co.uk.
  3. ^ "The Daily Beast". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  4. ^ "David Patrikarakos". POLITICO. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  5. ^ "David Patrikarakos". Office of Public Affairs & Communications. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  6. ^ "Staff -". Iranian.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk.
  7. ^ "How terrorists and provocateurs are using social media against western democracies". Newstatesman.com.
  8. ^ "Your Guide to the Next, Never-Ending War – Tablet Magazine". Tabletmag.com. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Nuclear Iran: The Birth of an Atomic State, By David Patrikarakos". Independent.co.uk.
  10. ^ "Review of Nuclear Iran: The Birth of An Atomic State". Blogs.lse.ac.uk. 6 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Doing It by Ourselves". London Review of Books. 1 December 2011. pp. 19–20.
  12. ^ "Editors' Choice". Nytimes.com.
  13. ^ "Total Politics Book Awards 2013". Theibtaurisblog.com. 6 December 2012.
  14. ^ Freedland, Jonathan (23 March 2018). "The people owned the web, tech giants stole it. This is how we take it back - Jonathan Freedland". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "Who is monitoring the 200 million videos available daily on YouTube? - The Spectator". Spectator.co.uk. 17 March 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  16. ^ Polakow-Suransky, Sasha. "For Whom the Cell Trolls". Foreignpolicy.com.
  17. ^ "War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-first Century". Foreignaffairs.com. 12 December 2017.
  18. ^ "When a Gazan girl and Israeli officials battle head-to-head for social media". Timesofisrael.com.
  19. ^ "Power in the palm of the hand". Jpost.com. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  20. ^ Boland, Stephanie. "War in 140 characters: how social media has democratised conflict". Prospectmagazine.co.uk.
  21. ^ "Facebook and Twitter are more than just social platforms—they're changing the way we live and wage war". Newsweek.com. 23 December 2017.
  22. ^ Staff, Daily Express Review (22 December 2017). "The highlights that made 2017: Our reviewers reveal the reads they loved most this year". Express.com.
  23. ^ Snell, James. "War in 140 characters: How social media is reshaping conflict". Alaraby.co.uk.
  24. ^ Jankowicz, Nina. "Powerful or powerless: The backdoor to our cyberfuture". Newscientist.com.
  25. ^ "War by Other Memes". Weeklystandard.com. 19 January 2018.
  26. ^ "Warfare on the Web - The American Interest". The-american-interest.com. 8 January 2018.
  27. ^ Kaylan, Melik. "Three Urgent Books For The Season: Buy, Borrow Or Download Them But Do It Now". Forbes.com.
  28. ^ https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/2017-12-12/war-140-characters-how-social-media-reshaping-conflict-twenty?
  29. ^ "Munich Security Report 2018". Issuu.com.
  30. ^ "Atlantic Council on Twitter". Twitter.
  31. ^ "Dynamic Security Threats and the British Army". Rusi.org. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Vespucci Group". Vespuccigroup.com. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  33. ^ "David Patrikarakos". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2018-08-13.