Pentagon Orders Review Of Overseas Social Media Campaigns

Photo: AP [ via the Washington Post]

The Facts

  • The Pentagon has ordered a review of how it conducts clandestine information warfare after social media giants Twitter and Meta reportedly removed fake accounts suspected of being run by the US military.

  • The call for review came last week when Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl reportedly asked the military commands participating in online psychological operations (PSYOP) to give a complete rundown of their activities by next month.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The US government is in the tricky position of having to maintain its credibility and uphold its values without abandoning the online PSYOP battlefield. US adversaries are at the forefront of online propaganda, spreading misinformation and fomenting global unrest, and the US must take a stance. Hopefully, this review will shed some light on the military's information warfare and pave the way to a new digital-age hearts-and-minds campaign.

Establishment-critical narrative

While not illegal, using ersatz social media accounts is dangerous and hypocritical. The US has long condemned countries like China and Russia for their use of propaganda but has been quick to implement its own social media-driven PSYOP, with embarrassingly unsuccessful results. It's time to turn the page.

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