Manila, October 3, 2018 — Information Operations Specialists with U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, trained a new Philippine Army (PA) social media monitoring cell on September 28 on monitoring, clarifying, and countering disinformation spread by violent extremist organizations on social media.
The cell, developed at the direction of PA Commanding General Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, is part of a larger effort to bolster the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ information operations capability. The PA’s Civil Military Operations (CMO) Regiment, with support from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, activated the social media monitoring cell on July 23, 2018.
The U.S. Embassy’s Indo-Pacific Command Augmentation (PAT) Team and Spirit of America, a non-governmental organization, worked closely with the PA and CMO Regiment on social media research, analysis, and countering violent extremism during the cell’s development. Additionally, Spirit of America funded the high-performance computer equipment required for the cell to effectively monitor social media.
“This social media cell is another example of the combined U.S.-Philippine effort to counter violent extremism and mitigate threats to regional stability,” said Capt. Robert Barnes, a U.S. Army officer with the PAT team.
“In the near future, the Armed Forces of the Philippines will develop and utilize more state-of-the-art communication technologies,” said Colonel Romeo S. Brawner, the CMO Regiment’s commanding officer. “This generation saw the birth of the Information Age, and future wars will be fought on digital and informational battlefields.”