British Army Forms 'Facebook Brigade'

British Army Forms 'Facebook Brigade'

As someone who uses social media often, this is as profoundly disturbing to me as the CIA's "persona management" operations.

The Guardian:

The British army is creating a special force of Facebook warriors, skilled in psychological operations and use of social media to engage in unconventional warfare in the information age.

The 77th Brigade, to be based in Hermitage, near Newbury, in Berkshire, will be about 1,500-strong and formed of units drawn from across the army. It will formally come into being in April.

The brigade will be responsible for what is described as non-lethal warfare. Both the Israeli and US army already engage heavily in psychological operations.

Against a background of 24-hour news, smartphones and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, the force will attempt to control the narrative.

The 77th will include regulars and reservists and recruitment will begin in the spring. Soldiers with journalism skills and familiarity with social media are among those being sought.

I use social media less these days, mostly because you just never know when some right-wing whack job will start playing head games. And when that starts, you never know whether they're working for the Kochs, a private contracting company, or the United States military or the CIA. Since there are no tools or constraints to protect ordinary people like me from "warriors" like these guys, I tend to limit my interactions to those with people I've actually met face-to-face or know in other contexts.

I'm sure there are good reasons to use social media in this fashion. What I'm also sure of is that like everything else done in the name of "national security", there's no accountability and no limits to who they target.

So today it's ISIS. Tomorrow it's liberals. Because liberty.


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