The Pentagon has launched a review of its own psychological warfare operations after the discovery of fake social media accounts promoting pro-West disinformation, according to an official.
The move came after Twitter and Facebook suspended more than 150 accounts in August suspected of having been created by the US military.
Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said that Facebook and Twitter did not provide any information to the Pentagon about the accounts.
He also said the review is “an opportunity” for them to assess the current work that is being done in this arena.
The US military’s psychological operations, or “military information support operations,” are structured and legal, and they are to support activities in the field, he asserted.
They are not “public affairs operations,” Ryder said. “It’s an aspect of warfare as old as warfare itself, and we conduct those operations in support of national security priorities.”
The Washington Post reported a research last month by Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory on pro-Western covert influence operations.
The report was based on data provided to the internet researchers by Twitter and Meta, which removed the accounts from their respective platforms in August, citing their policies on platform manipulation and coordinated inauthentic activity.
US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl launched an investigation into the activities of all units conducting military information operations.
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