In the ever-changing warfare landscape, Facebook Warriors will help the British army keep a check on the digital front
Facebook serves numerous purposes in today’s times rather than just being a mode of sharing photos and statuses. In its newest usage, the platform will be used by the British army, which has come up with a unique way of utilizing social media for its benefit.
Evolving warfare methods
Warfare is one field that has been in existence for centuries and will be there for a long time to come. However, the landscape ranging from weapons to battlefields has been constantly changing. Therefore, to keep up with the changing landscape, the British Army has upped its digital artillery. The need for digital defense is of utmost importance in today’s world considering the Snowden leaks from the NSA and GCHQ.
According to the Financial Times, the new group of soldiers will be referred to as Facebook Warriors and will wage complex and covert information and subversion campaigns. The unit will be called the 77th battalion, and there is historical significance to the number as well.
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“The original Chindits [77th battalion] were a guerrilla unit led by the swashbuckling British commander Major General Orde Wingate, one of the pioneers of modern unconventional warfare,” reports the FT.
Facebook Warriors to use “reflexive control”
Facebook Warriors are adopting this atypical and non-violent means in an attempt to get opponents to react in a desired way known as “reflexive control.” It has been used by the Soviet army in the past. This tactic makes use of spreading information that is specifically curated, and the trick is applied by a troop comprised of about 1,500 or more people in the British army. The battalion has plans of making use of Twitter and Facebook for spreading disinformation to get the desired results. The 77th battalion will reportedly start operating in April.
Britain is not the only country making use of social media to achieve desired objectives. According to The Guardian, around 30 different social media sites were used by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) for the purpose of reaching out to the audience they wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Also ISIS actively uses social media experts to hack popular and important social media accounts.