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 Guardian reported Saturday.
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.
The move is partly a result of experience in counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan. It can also be seen as a response to events of the last year that include Russia's actions in Ukraine, in particular Crimea, and Daesh takeover of large swaths of Syria and Iraq.