|Social Media Warfare
By: Jessica Cherok
The British Army has started up a new unit called the Facebook Warriors. These soldiers are specifically assigned to “wage complex and covert information and subversion campaigns.”
The 77th Battalion has been charged with spreading information designed to elicit specific responses from the enemy. The soldiers will engage their opponents on social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter.
The battalion is looking to gather information about enemy activities, as well as spread misinformation and other generalized intelligence activities.
Many counties’ national defense and intelligence agencies are stepping up their social media monitoring and activities, as more and more terror groups are turning to the various platforms to recruit and spread propaganda. The terrorist group known as ISIS has been especially effective at using social media to recruit Westerners to their organization. Countries are struggling to combat their radicalized messages.
Social media messages on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube have a broad reach among Internet users, especially young ones. These groups are easily influenced, a fact that terror organizations are successfully exploiting.
While the sites suspend and delete accounts believed to belong to terrorists, the sites are quickly replaced. In addition, anti-terror agencies have a difficult time tracking down the posters thanks to the anonymity of the Internet, as well as various encryption techniques.
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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